"Let's begin with the premise that what we make with our hands is the
by product of a process and the process is the path we follow. "
Ever since I was young I had a desire to create things. I was
especially interested in making knives. I don't remember when or
why I became interested in knife making but my desire was strong.
I put together a couple of kit knives and even tried to grind some
blades with a bench grinder. I was not at all satisfied with the
results and started looking for books about knife making. There
weren't a lot of books about knife making back then, but I did find a
couple. In one of these books I read that it takes a lot of
expensive and specialized tools to make knives. I think that more
than anything else discouraged me and I quit trying to make
knives. I lacked the knowledge, ability, and tools.
My wonder at how things were made persisted however. I had been
playing the violin since I was a boy and used to look at it and wonder
how anyone could have created such a thing with his own two
hands. To carve such complex shapes and assemble them with such
precision seamed like some kind of magic to me. I couldn't even
begin to imagine how it was done.
Many years later I read a book that showed the process and tools used
to create a violin. It certainly didn't look easy, but there it
was. There was a logical process to learn and follow and it
suddenly made sense that someone could make a violin with his own two
hands. From that day forward I knew that if I wanted to craft
something that existed only in my mind I simply had to study the
process, acquire the tools, and practice, practice, practice.
I never did learn to make a violin, but I did start to learn and enjoy
some basic woodworking skills. The first time I successfully
crafted something from raw materials, I was hooked!
At some point I was reminded of the desire I had to make my own
knives. By now I had acquired a lot more knowledge, skills, and
tools than back when I first tried. I started doing some
research; and thanks to the writings of blade smiths like Wayne
Goddard, Tim Lively, and Tai Goo I found out that I could start making
knives with nothing but a fire, a hammer, and some files. That's
exactly how I started and I made quite a few knives that way.
While learning to make knives I became inspired by some of the jewelry
that other knifemakers were creating. I started making some
simple jewelry as Christmas presents. The jewelry really sparked
my creativity and every piece of jewelry inspired two or three more
ideas. Before long, I was working on jewelry even more than
After a lifetime of wanting to create things with my mind and my hands, I feel that I am finally walking that path.
I was born in White Bear Lake, MN in 1970 the youngest of six. I
grew up with a love of the outdoors. My favorite ways to spend my
time were and still are; hiking, camping, canoeing, rock climbing,
running, and mountain biking.
I have always had an interest in the martial arts. I started
studying martial arts as a teenager and for over a decade it was my
main passion. I eventually attained a first-degree black belt in
Chuan Lu Boxing.
At the age of 17 I joined the US Army Reserve and served for six years
in military intelligence as a ground surveillance radar operator
eventually getting out as a sergeant (E-5). I'm very thankful for
my time in the military. I was able to meet and serve with some
very outstanding people. But I always knew that I wasn't going to
make the military my career and once I started a family I knew it was
time for me to move on.
I've played violin since childhood and as a young adult I learned to play guitar. In 1992 I started playing with the band Midnight Tea
and for the next decade music dominated my life. We played many shows together and recorded a CD called "Time"
We have all become very busy with family life and don't get out
and play much, but we still work on recording projects together.