As a fifth generation woodworker, the need to be in the studio is in my bones. My passion for woodworking has driven a career of almost fifty years and continues to fuel my creative process. My genetic history goes back to when my ancesters were the “tinkerers” of southern Germany. I know now how I can accomplish new techniques I’ve never done before – it’s in my DNA. I have worked as a homebuilder, finish carpenter, cabinet-maker and metal fabricator. But my journey to becoming the woodworker of my heritage has often been the road less traveled. I have flown and repaired old airplanes and helicopters, built and driven fast cars and faster motorcycles. All the while learning the myriad of things that have contributed to the synthesis of skills and insights found in the expression of my work as an artist. I tend to design things without any constraints as to how I’ll build them, and then work out the construction details later; this frees up the design process. Maybe it has a big curved door that people tell me won’t work. ‘You can’t put hinges on that,’ they say. Well, tell me something can’t be done, and I’ll just have to figure it out. I use a combination of my mechanical and engineering skills along with my woodworking and design skills in the creation of each new piece. Over time I developed a passion for Asian art and architecture and the designs of the Arts and Crafts movement. George Nakashima, Sam Maloof, the Greene brothers and Frank Lloyd Wright, have also influenced me. A decade ago I took a workshop from Silas Kopf (an internationally renowned marquetry artist) and my love of double bevel marquetry was born. Marquetry is a technique developed several hundred years ago that is often confused with inlay. Marquetry is the art of creating pictures or scenes by laying pieces of veneer into a veneer background. The technique I use is known as double bevel marquetry. Each piece is hand cut at 11 degrees, into the background. The next piece is cut to nest into the first piece, and so on. This technique allows each tapered piece to nest with its neighboring pieces, leaving virtually invisible seams. When I choose each wood species I keep in mind the effect the color, grain direction and figure has on the final design. Each design starts with a full size drawing used to transfer the design to the background veneer. Then each small piece is meticulously bevel cut into the background veneer, one at a time. The pieces are then individually shaded using hot sand. Lately some of my art has moved to the wall—taking my marquetry to two dimensions and developing a technique to add brilliant color. The scenes I’m able to create with the marquetry, and the use of transparent toners allows the figure of the wood to shimmer through. The driving forces within me cause a continual striving for new skills and techniques. I seek to balance the aesthetic with the art and engineering to create an object of beauty never before seen. I combine the art with the craft so the spirit of the tree can live on, enriching the lives of the people for whom it was created.