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I became interested in woodcarving after having tried my hand at drawing, painting watercolors and oils. I wasn’t all that good at painting and my drawing left a lot to be desired so I set out looking for a hobby, no, I needed a hobby to distract me from a high-stress job. The problem was, I had no idea what to do. One Saturday in the Fall of 1996 my wife saw a sign advertising wood carving classes at a local store so we stopped in. On a whim, I bought a few tools and registered for a class – quite certain it would be another disaster. My first woodcarving instructor and long time mentor, was Ellis Olson who taught me to carve a little pegged leg sailor in the round, and that was all it took to create a passion for wood carving that continues to this day.
I was determined to learn everything about wood carving and took advantage of all the local classes and then hit the road to attend classes taught by the most recognized carvers. After trying many styles of carving, it didn’t take long to realize that caricature carving was for me. I began to focus all my interest and time in caricature carving classes. My house is full of carvings I have done with Phil and Vicki Bishop, Steve Prescott, Dave Stetson, Cleve Taylor, Pete LeClair and Harold Enlow. These classes were informative and fun, each teacher lending their own brand of humor. I have had many mentors over the years and learned a great deal from each one of them.
After a few years I started designing and carving my own caricature figures, some of which have been published in Carving Magazine and Wood Carving Illustrated. My carvings have won numerous First Place and Best of Division awards, including “Best of Show” at the 2012 and 2014 Caricature Carvers of America competition and Editor’s Choice Nominee for Best Design, Wood Carving Illustrated Magazine. In 2014 I was inducted into the Caricature Carvers of America an honor that remains a high point in my life. I enjoy creating a humorous scene that tells a funny story. The highest compliment I receive is when one of carvings puts a smile on someone’s face.
I began teaching caricature carving about 10 years ago and enjoy sharing my knowledge and meeting new carvers. My teaching schedule includes a weekly group in my studio and a variety of classes for all levels of carvers. In my experience, wood carvers are a fun group anxious to share ideas and tips. I have made many great friends through wood carving who continue to give me new ideas, and teach me the importance of sharing.
My wife, Kerry, doesn’t mind the wood chips – she calls them clean dirt – and even bakes treats for the students. We live in Holladay, Ut. with our 2 dogs, and I’m an active member of the Utah Valley Woodcarvers Club.