has been an integral part of my evolution from childhood
into adulthood and from craftsman into sculptor.
a young child, I marveled at my father notching cypress
logs as the cabin in which I grew up in the early 1950's
took shape. Growing up with those interior logs, combined
with the mystery of an old decoy my grandmother had given
me from her attic, pressed something deep in me. I remember
well my mother holding me up by my belt and her encouraging
words as she allowed me to saw an extended exterior log
from that cabin for my first bird. That is when I first
peered over the edge of the nest into the world of sculpture.
a few birds and decoys as a teenager and working as a carpenter's
helper not only strengthened my allegiance to wood, but
also revealed a love of working with my hands. This love
has only deepened with time.
home to study architecture at Clemson University turned
eventually into a BS degree in biology, which was, as I
look back on it, a continuation of what was quickened in
me as I grew up next to those cypress logs and a decoy.
the quarter century since then, the pursuit of the flight
of birds in wood has been a passion of mine. The sculptor
in me began to emerge as I worked under the wing of Gilbert
Maggioni of Beaufort, South Carolina, for two years in the
early 1970's. He challenged me like no one before or since.
Gilbert inoculated me against mediocrity while at the same
time encouraging innovation and preaching there is no substitute
for hard work. Although I had long since left the nest,
I was still precariously perched on an outer limb, not knowing
where to fly. Gilbert kicked me from that position to soar
toward a vision on the horizon his eyes had seen, but mine
were not accustomed to. The first flight was the point in
my life when inertia was overcome, and I began that slow,
arduous process which continues to this day of becoming