Renaissance man? Jack-of-all-Trades? General Specialist?
Nah…not really. I’m the product of an unorthodox career path, an overused library card and an oblique imagination. And wonderful parents who never discouraged even my most absurd interests. I was born and raised in Paisley, Ontario, Canada, population 550. Relocating at the earliest possible opportunity, I embarked on an appallingly intellectual Liberal Arts education (Greco-Roman history and Philosophy of Religion, since you asked), following which I entered the workforce.
I’ve worked as a graphic designer. I’ve worked in the production engineering department of an electronics manufacturing company. I worked as a ceramicist, a glass cutter, a chef, and I played drums in rawk bands.
I spent 7 years (God help me) cooking sewage on the midnight shift at the Main Sewage Treatment Plant in Toronto. Do not get me started. On the other hand, I heartily encourage one and all to engage me in learned discourse regarding the sublime joys of toiling as a grunt in a scrap metal yard.
My scrap fu is strong
Between the skills I learned in my various workplaces, and the skills I sought out knowledge in because I was actually *interested* in the subject, I was taught a lot of different things by a lot of unnaturally skilled people.
Just lucky, I guess. I try to remember all of it, with varying degrees of success, and I end up using bits and pieces of most of it daily.
I’ve always built things, generally improvising them out of whatever was at hand. Through an odd form of artistic Darwinism the wildly diverse skill set I’ve acquired merged with assorted lifelong fascinations and manifested itself on the ragged but still knife-like edge between art and craftsmanship. The results are the pieces I build, which are ‘odd things that do stuff ‘...um… no, how about ‘things that do odd stuff’...no…that’s not it either…er…OK…this is good: ‘things that do stuff oddly’… yeah…that’s it…
Pretty machines. Whatever.
None of this would have been possible without the love, inspiration, encouragement and ‘stuff’ of the splendid Kaia Howe, who first revealed to me the inner beauty of the 3/16-32 left hand thread brass thumb screw.