I carved my first piece of wood in 1993. Having seen some carvings that my Dad had done, I thought it looked like something I would enjoy. I ordered a kit from a woodworking catalog and took about 4 months to complete a 4-inch, rough-hewn hiker. Over the next 3 years I finished a few more small carvings.
In February of 1998, I felt led to create a podium for my small community church. The design was very basic, made with cherry wood. Using the church logo of a soaring eagle, I completed a relief carving in walnut for the upper front panel of the lectern. It was during the creation of this podium that thoughts of using woodcarving in service to God first began. Over the course of the next few years, I began noticing other forms of art, including sculptures and paintings, which were being used to convey God's message.
I met Mr. Vic Hood in the spring of 2000, while he was engaged in a carving demonstration at an annual craft fair in Nashville. He invited me to visit the Leipers Fork Carving Club, which met in his studio. It took me a few months to attend my first meeting, but by 2001 I had joined the club and began my carving education, participating in classes with various instructors, including Jeff Phares, Janet Cordell, and John Burke.
In November 2005, I felt the need to pursue wood sculpting at the professional level, both as a sculptor and as a teacher. Beginning in January 2006, I was blessed with the opportunity to assist Vic Hood, one of the foremost instructors in the country. Since assisting Vic for 5 years, I have noticed dramatic improvement in my techniques. Judges at some of the largest wood carving competitions in the Country seemed to confirm this, by presenting my work with numerous awards, including a few placements in the Best Of Show circle. By assimilating Vic's knowledge, I have realized continual growth in my ability to communicate with students, and guide them to achieve carvings they are proud of. My greatest leap as an instructor was being asked to move from the Assistant role to that of Individual Instructor, at John Burke's Western & Wildlife Art Workshop, held the last week of July on the campus of Doane College in Crete, Nebraska.
Just as in Exodus 31:1-6, I believe God is still equipping artisans for His purpose. I strive for obedience in pursuing talent with which He has gifted me. As you will see, not all of my carvings have a biblical message, but all are done using His gifts of skills and teachers.
Carvings For Christ is here in the hope that you will see something that will open your heart to God; allowing Him to speak to you and encourage you.
In Christ's love,