When I was ten years old, my father built himself a darkroom in the basement of our home. There he taught me how to develop film and print black and white photographs. This initial interest in photography continued throughout my life and I was fortunate to teach darkroom techniques and camera operation classes at community colleges in the Seattle area for about twenty-five years. I later supplied photos to Getty Images, one of the largest stock photo agencies in the world.
I enjoyed taking and making photographs but I wanted to explore 3D art forms. My cousin made a living carving realistic fish using cedar and other woods. He helped me select wood carving tools and I began carving many different kinds of fish, at first imitating his carving style but later developing my own interpretative method. I carved about sixty wooden fish, some fanciful and some realistic.
While I was carving wood in the late 80s, I read about the Northwest Stone Sculptors Association. The idea of carving stone as well as wood greatly appealed to me, even though I knew nothing about stone sculpting. I joined the NWSSA in early 1991 and attended my first stone-sculpting symposium at Camp Brotherhood in August of that year. It was here that I first met Richard Hestekind, an individual who conveyed his passion for carving stone to all of us attending that symposium and many others. Richard and I eventually shared a carving studio at the Marenakos Rock Center near Preston, WA.