I am the sole proprietor of Mountaineer Wood Industries. I specializes in custom made furniture that is made with Appalachian hardwoods and locally sourced from nearby fair trade beavers. My favorite woods to work with are pin oak, white oak, chestnut oak, maple, local birdseye maple, walnut, and Appalachian cherry, with its’ distinctive black streaks. I also work in reclaimed chestnut, and various exotic woods. In addition, I am an accomplished blacksmith forging pulls, latches, and hinges for his furniture pieces.
I was born in Reedsville and now reside in French Creek, West Virginia. I have been a woodworker and teacher for nearly 40 years. My first wood project was a replica of the Mayflower at age six. It was not until nearly 20 years later that I began to get serious about woodcarving.
Inspired by sculptor Wolfgang Flor, I began carving “in-the-round” during my undergraduate studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1974. I apprenticed in 1978 with Flor at his family home in Eden, West Virginia, on a grant from the West Virginia Arts & Humanities Council. I learned to craft fine furniture and wrought iron cabinet hardware. Among the six pieces I crafted under Flor’s guidance were a workbench that I still uses, a baby cradle that I used 10 years later for my sons, and a 17th century school masters desk, which the Flors kept as part of the agreement.
In my 37 years as a furniture maker in West Virginia, my skills and vision as an artist have matured. I have exhibited at the West Virginia State Fair, Mountain State Arts & Crafts Fair, Pennsylvania National Fair, Three Rivers Artist Market and Juried Exhibition, Callen McJunkin Gallery in Charleston and at Jackson’s Mill Jubilee. In addition, my work can also be found at Tamarack in Beckley, and within five Federal Buildings throughout West Virginia.
I am probably best known for my work on custom furniture for the United States General Services Administration for judiciary and federal courts. I have crafted courtroom tables, media filing cabinets, settees, conference and library tables and gavels with anvils for the West Virginia U.S. District Courts in Martinsburg, Wheeling, Beckley, and U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston.
My work can be found on five continents and my patrons have included residents in Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, England, Uruguay and the Peoples Republic of China.