I had the opportunity of growing up everywhere. I was an Air Force brat along with two brothers and a sister. It was a way of life for us. It was also at a time that the military moved families of six every year and a half, literally. So we moved all over this country: from California to Massachusetts, Wisconsin to Texas, South Carolina to Europe, and numerous other spots.
It was during our first time in Germany that I learned marquetry, (wood inlay). It was taught to me by my father after we visited a second generation marqueteer by the name of Paul Spindler. Msr Spindler's studio is at the former abbey of Saint-Léonard at the foot of St. Odile Mountain in France. That was a trip that I shall never forget. To see him working in that studio was not only amazing, but I knew then what I wanted to do and how I wanted to live. His works, carried on by his son Jean-Charles Spindler, are an amazing sight to see.
So I finally settled in Charleston, South Carolina, a very historic city with, wouldn't you know it, a beautiful view of the ocean. The two rivers on either side of Charleston, the Cooper and the Ashley, are well known for their convergence in the forming of the Atlantic ocean...or so I'm told. It is here that I came to further my education in medicine but wound up leaving the College of Charleston, (C of C), with a degree in studio art. This degree turned out to balance my life learning experience in art. My mentors at C of C were John Michel, one of the finest draughtsmen and sculptors I have ever met, and Herb Parker, who guided me in my quest for monumental sculpture. It was here I began to learn the techniques of low temperature metal pours such as bronze and aluminum. The buildings and the life here in Charleston, as well as the surrounding country side, tends to suck out the artist in you, whether you like it or not.
(...to be continued...)