found at: Hill-Stead's May Market (Farmington)
With Krystian Von Speidel
What is the one thing that has defined your life so far?
An overwhelming need for independence.
At what point in your life have you been happiest? Saddest?
I was happiest in 1971 when the girl of my dreams became a reality. The saddest point came in 1989 when a relationship with another lady ended.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Ben & Jerry's and cheap Scotch.
Best and worst thing about your career?
Making a living doing what I truly enjoy. There's no down side.
What is the biggest misconception people have about what you do?
My better work is predominantly decorative. Most people's mindset is that if something doesn't hang on a wall, it has to be functional. It's an ongoing battle to get them to appreciate my turnings for what they are, rather than what they'd like them to be. On the other hand, if they choose to fill the piece with dried flowers when they get it home, I've already been paid.
Who do you most admire and look up to in your life?
When and why did you decide to pursue the art of fine woodworking?
It was in the blood, lying dormant, waiting for a few serendipitous situations to occur. The last one being in 1987 when I was offered a wood lathe, which is a type of machine I'd never used, which piqued my interest and curiosity, and challenged my abilities, to say the least. Humble beginnings, but very satisfying results.
Any especially memorable pieces you've created or enjoy creating?
I've enjoyed creating every one. I keep the most memorable pieces in my collection. They're not what you might think, but they're special to me.
What is it about New England that lends itself especially well to the appreciation of your craft?
Nothing! I'd find greater appreciation in other parts of the country that have more open-minded, contemporary aesthetics. New England's a tough sell.
Favorite weekend activity in the area?
Got me. From May to December I'm doing shows, much of the rest of the time I'm shoveling snow.
Moment you realized you were an adult?
Indefinable. When I was a kid I couldn't wait to become an adult. Guess you could say I got an early start. On the other hand, I define an adult as someone who's learned how to use intelligence, common sense and rational thought in harmony with emotion. We're not taught how to be emotional. If all goes well, we're taught how to think. Most adults are still working on it.