Living on a farm, we were always working on the different equipment used to support the raising of animals and crops. I learned at a young age the concepts of the workings of machinery and how to use tools. Around the age of twelve I met a friend whose father had a well equipped machine shop for his hobby and I fell in love with the idea of making things from metal. To this end I began studies in school which lead to me attending machine shop classes in high school.
Upon graduation I entered the U.S. Air Force and for 24 years traveled the world installing and maintaining navigation equipment on airfields in many countries. While in the military, I developed a desire to make knives. A supervisor also made knives and introduced me to the forging of steel and the idea of pushing metal instead of removing it.
A machinist takes a piece of metal and removes all the material not required for the part. In forging, a smith heats the metal and pushes it to the places he needs it. Forging of metal introduced me to art for the sake of art. I hope to learn to create artwork that is both pleasing to the eye and useful as well.
I have studied under many great smiths — Chris Marks, Frank Turley, Rob Gunter, Larry Harley, James Batson — and attended classes at the American Bladesmith Society School, Austin Community College, Tom Clark’s Ozark School of Blacksmithing, and many others.
I now live in Picayune, Mississippi and host a fire art show each summer called Fire in the Swamp, inviting artists to present their art form and demonstrate their skills.