Impetus: noun - 'im-pə-təs
Etymology: Latin, assault, impetus, from impetere to attack, from in- + petere to go to, seek
1: a driving force : impulse
2: incentive, stimulus : stimulation or encouragement resulting in increased activity
Woodworking is my impetus; it keeps me striving, discovering, learning, moving forward, creating.
"Man has the audacity to try to improve the tree...." -George Nakashima
I grew up with my father, a true jack of all trades, building our house around me. The original building was literally 4 stone walls when he started, and today it's a beautiful testament to what a man can do when he cares about a structure. One of my earliest memories is of sitting on a large wooden beam and getting a splinter in my little naked rear -- a beam that is now 9 feet overhead, supporting the majority of the newer part of the house.
"The only really good place to buy lumber is at a store where the lumber has already been cut and attached together in the form of furniture, finished, and put inside boxes." -Dave Barry
After moving from Philadelphia to Boston and having to replace some of our cheap particleboard bookshelves for the second time, I resolved that I would slowly but surely replace all of our cheap furniture with handmade pieces that were constructed of solid wood. (This basic premise has yet to befulfilled, but I'm working on it.)
"Haven't you felt a peculiar sort of worry about the chair in your living room that no one sits in?" -Nicholson Baker
This simple concept has guided me in my woodworking: wood is a natural and variable material, and anything made from it should respect that fact and not strive to hide it the character of the material. I feel that good design is timeless. Pieces by artisans like Sam Maloof and James Krenov have such beautiful lines and lack of gimmick that they'll look just as elegant 100 years in the future as they would 100 years in the past. I can certainly appreciate the rigidly structured styles that come and go, but my aim is always to transcend the decades in my designs.
"The things I make may be for others, but how I make them is for me." -Tony Konovaloff
If you're interested in working with me, I'm more than happy to discuss the design of your project for hours to ensure that you'll be happy with the final outcome. If it's a design that I don't feel that I can execute with the passion that I like to bring to my pieces I'll do my best to help you find another artist to work with who can better execute your vision, no hard feelings at all.
About the craftsman:
Ry grew up on the edge of Amish country in rural Chester County, Pennsylvania -- an area well known for its Americana craftsmanship. His father is a full-time carpenter, and both of his grandfathers were tradesmen who earned their livings by making things with their hands. Ry works in IT during the day keeping corporate infrastructures humming smoothly, but needs to gets back to his genetic roots in his spare time by making wood shavings. He lives in Somerville, MA with his wife and their two cats, and a lovely (if a bit wild) garden in the backyard.