I was born in 1954 and raised in Rochester, New York. Under the watchful eye of my father I discovered the love of woodworking, which was nurtured throughout my childhood, and has transcended into a never ending passion.
In 1985, serious mentorship began in Bentwaters, England under the guidance of a master woodcarver and master craftsman. This training would last for the next 15 years and provided a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to live, breathe and feel the habits and customs of those called to create things of beauty. Woodturning and woodcarving shifted from a thing of interest into a lifetime vocation.
Returning to the United States in 2000, I blended into the green mountains of Vermont and soon found myself in a unique cabinet shop constructing “high end” cabinets, fireplace mantles, and entire rooms. I soon found myself running a woodshop in Alaska and teaching 40 woodturning classes per month during the cold winters. I have found that few things match the satisfaction of teaching those who proclaim to have “no talent.” Witnessing those doubtful souls discovering God didn’t pass them up, has been the highlight of my woodworking adventure to date.
My hand-carved vessels can be found in private collections and in some of the finest galleries along Alaska’s Inside Passage.
“Creativity is a characteristic of a prepared mind, a disciplined mind,” stated Jack A Hobbs, and Rush, Jean C. in their book, Teaching Children Art. I think every individual possesses the potential to be creative, but some never chance developing it. I am Rachel… an art education graduate from Ohio Northern University. After spending my first year of college in engineering and second year in general studies, I found my calling – art. Art has opened the door to a new world for me. A world that is lively, expressive, constantly changing, and wonderful to be a part of each day.
I developed my strengths as an artist through strong studio courses, personal attention, and practice. I consider myself confident and competent in many different media. I enjoy painting (oil/watercolor/acrylic), sculpture (bronze, stone, clay), printmaking (intaglio/relief/lithography/serigraphy), ceramics, and drawing. My subject matter is usually organic and handled with arbitrary color. Art demands my time and energy, both physically and mentally. Its problem solving aspects challenge, inspire, and encourage me to grow. Overall, I consider myself hard-working, self-motivated, and dedicated to producing art.
In 2003, I embraced the opportunity to step into the woodturning/carving arena. I began a mentorship and learned the full process from harvesting the tree to applying the final coat of finish. I feel the process is just as beautiful as the final piece. It is an honor to create bowls and vessels that will enrich others lives. I believe they are all created for a specific person or purpose and just like us, no two are alike.
I have lived and traveled many places and find as long as I am turning and creating, I am home. My work has made it into homes across the United States, in fine art galleries along the coast of Alaska’s Inside Passage, and the Ben West Gallery in Hill City, South Dakota.