I was born in 1955 in Guelph, Ontario. For the first six years of my life I lived next door to my grandmother in the small town of Rockwood. During those formative years my grandmother shared with me her love of nature. I clearly remember her stopping to listen to the birds and how she would imitate their song and whistle in response to “Robin red-breast” or “Jenny wren.” At that early age I realized that we can be on the same wave-length as other living things. It made an impression on me that has lasted a life-time. As an adult, one of my favorite hobbies is nature and wildlife photography.

At age six my family moved to 30 acres of land in the country near Erin, Ontario. All of a sudden my back yard became a natural paradise. I spent countless hours bird-watching, fossil collecting, and rafting the creek by the edge of the woods. With this move, my parents began what was to become a 45 year project restoring the century-old farm house. I remember watching Dad patiently chisel and shim the beams, slowly, methodically achieving a goal. Somehow the process itself was as much a source of satisfaction as the finished result. Probably without realizing it, my father (like my grandmother) was teaching me important lessons by example.

Ever since before I can remember, music has been a part of my life. My mother played the piano beautifully. I used to fall asleep each night as she practiced Bach, Beethoven and Chopin. My own choice of instrument is the violin and to this day I still enjoy playing it. I love lyricism in music when there is a long spinning out of melody. This attraction absolutely parallels my instinct as a metalsmith to create smooth flowing lines and contours.

During high school, I studied art with Mr. Arthur Brecken. This remarkable man included a wide range of subjects in his classes from drawing and painting to fashion design and architectural design, to soapstone sculpture, copper enamels and silver jewellery. I loved it! I was particularly drawn to the jewellery making. Arthur let me use his home studio on weekends and during the summers. His method of teaching was remarkably like that of my parents and grandmother. I learned by example, by trial and error, and from many hours of casual conversation where we often discussed our thoughts on design and about sources of inspiration.

In University I studied both music and fine art. After working as a commercial silver designer in the United States during the early 1980’s, I met my wife, Margaret, and moved to Newfoundland, Canada. We have two daughters, Laurel and Francine. After our youngest was born, I became the stay-at-home parent. Over the following 20 years, my jewellery and metalsmithing necessarily became part-time work and during this time I averaged 20 hours per week at my art. Half of that time went toward completing specific orders, and half toward building up speculative stock for sale at craft fairs.

Over the past decade, with our children at university and then on their own, I again worked full-time. In May 2015, I was officially inducted into to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA). I feel deeply honoured to be recognized by my peers in this way, and I would like to acknowledge my colleague and friend, Don Stuart, who nominated me for the RCA. During the four years since 2015, I have focused on a solo exhibition called Mentor & Metalsmith in tribute to my high school art teacher, Mr. Arthur Brecken. In the display were 23 of Arthur's finest pieces and 50 of mine from across my career that illustrated how my style evolved out of his. I toured with the show to five galleries across Canada from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Vancouver, British Columbia, and met the public at each venue. A fully-illustrated 172 page Mentor & Metalsmith catalogue remains available for $49 CAD (including shipping).