I’m happily married in my 50’s living in Roseburg, OR. I’ve worked as a metal fabricator since 1995. I enjoy flying kites, playing disc (Frisbee) golf, and riding fast motorcycles fast.
It all started when I was about 10 and went to the local Blacksmith shop with my father to get something fixed. It was in a great big old barn-like building, with lots of sparks flying, loud banging and clanking, and big things getting worked on. There was a guy pounding on red hot material heated in the forge and beating it into shape, and he let me watch! That was the day that started it for me.
Years later in high school, I loved working in metal shop, and made some pretty wacky stuff. I would get out of some classes to spend more time in metal shop if I had something in the works I was excited about. I wish I had pictures of some of it. I could tell some stories. At the time I didn’t pursue this love of making metal art because I couldn’t see making a lot of money at it as I didn’t think I was that good at it.
It did however, lead me to become a metal fabricator which I’ve done since the early 70’s I started building trailers for a small construction equipment company. I then bought out the trailer manufacturing part of the company, and built Diablo trailers for a little over 10 yrs. I really liked having my own shop. There was a pinball machine in the office, cool posters all over the walls, it was a fun place to go to work. We (David, Andy, & I) built some nice trailers.
In 1990 I left the Bay Area (Diablo Valley), because it wasn’t the same place I grew up in. I moved north with my sweetie first to Ukiah, and then to Eugene where we still live. I’ve been fabricating for a few big metal shops in Eugene and one of them had a big “burn table” where they would cut all their metal parts to build large industrial systems. I walked past the scrap bin every day without noticing it much. Then one day I passed the bin and noticed this piece that had some really nice lines (curves actually). It took looking at it 3 times before I finally pulled it out. That piece turned into the Hanging Wind Catcher, which is still one of the most popular pieces I make, and one of my favorites. After that nothing was safe, there was great joy in passing the scrap bin and going oooh there’s a cool piece”.
If I had any regrets, it would be not continuing to make “wacky art” when I was young, and not learning more about computer controlled Auto-Cad systems now. It’s the Auto Cad system that makes pieces so perfect, its scrap becomes art. Now I do have a day job and I don’t do the art as a sole means of support, but it’s sure a lot more fun than my day job! And means I don’t have to sell a piece, which keeps it FUN!!!