One of the most important days of my life was a Tuesday in 1986. My wife, Anita, is an artist and is always busy making something. Prior to this Tuesday that I am speaking of I was going through one of my wife's art magazines and noticed a small classified ad that mentioned woodcarving lessons in Hamden, Connecticut. I called the number in the ad the next day and I showed up at the woodcarving studio in Hamden at 7 pm the following Tuesday. I have been a woodcarver ever since. No matter what else was going on in my life, or whatever career I was involved in during work time hours, I was a woodcarver. It changed my life. It saved my life. It became my life. I was a chiropractor for fifteen years and had to retire from it earlier than planned because of a disabling condition, but I still had woodcarving. It saved during a rough time. I switched careers to education, becoming a teacher and then a principal. I never stopped woodcarving, ever. I never feared retirement from this career because I continue to be a woodcarver. I always have something to make.
Now, almost 25 years later in my life as a carver, I spend hours each day in my studio/workshop designing and making art. I have given many pieces as gifts to loved ones. I have sold many pieces to customers. I have shown my pieces in solo and group shows at galleries. I love this life of a woodcarver. One of the things I love most is teaching woodcarving to students, young and old. I look for the students that get touched by woodcarving the way that I did many years ago. I continually get blessed by students that want something more in their lives than just a hobby. They want to become more, become a maker of things, become a woodcarver. That is a great feeling for me because I know what happened to me in 1986 and that I've never been the same and I know that they will never be the same. The circle completes but never ends. The woodcarving community will grow and continue and I am part of it. And my students are part of it. Please contact me if you'd like to take woodcarving lessons. Your life will be better.
Sitting outside the studio of Wharton Esherick in Pennsylvania reflecting on his woodcarving and woodworking greatness. I couldn't help but feel proud to be a woodcarver. Every woodcarver should make a point to visit here.