Growing up in a family of carpenters (grandfather, father, uncle and brother all had respectable careers working in wood) I had a basic understanding of how to build things as well as an admiration of what can come from cutting and connecting pieces of wood. I pretty much always felt like I understood what should be done but when it came to actually doing the cutting and joining, I didn’t have a clue of where to start. Plus, I had (and maintain) a healthy fear of power tools. To get me over my fear, my husband gave me a woodworking class at the Indianapolis Art Center in 2003. Most of my inspiration comes from the richness in the wood. My work primarily combines American hardwoods with accents of exotic woods to create something functional yet artistic, typically for the kitchen. I love to cook and think handcrafted kitchen items add joy to the routine of cooking. Usually, I start out with a basic idea of what I’m going to make, but then I just let the grain, texture, color, smell (olive wood really smells like olives!), and how well it plays with other woods be my guide. I do not use any stains or chemicals preferring to emphasize the contrast of the natural colors and grains of the woods. My products are finished with a food safe oil and wax.