“My parents said I was artistic because I liked to draw and make things. When I was a kid I rubbed sticks on concrete. I ruined my father’s grinder shaping little pieces of wood. Later he loaned me some real carving tools. They were razor sharp and glided through the wood. Carving became a happy combination of art and woodwork. I learned about drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpting with clay at Indiana University, Bethel College, and Andrews University. I studied art history, color theory and teaching practices.
But when it’s all said and done, I still come back to carving wood. The walls of my classrooms have always been accented with carved signs. I would much rather articulate a protest to war in wood and varnish than words. Old Testament stories I analyzed as a ministry student now manifest themselves in pieces of pine and paint. The Underground Railroad of Southwest Michigan is carved into a long wooden mural and displayed at Fort St, Joseph museum.
I tell my students that everyone should have one thing they do well. In music, painting, and even teaching, I feel like an impostor. Carving is the only thing I do very well so I try to work without apology or deference.”