After five years of running a successfully uninspired used consumer electronics business, it was time to pursue something more meaningful. I closed the business and moved to Hana, where I tapped into a deep well of inspiration. I began working with the trees, turning wooden bowls on a lathe. A few years later, I found myself back in Portland, turning wood full time from my home studio. While focusing on creating fine art pieces out of West Coast root burls, I realized there are few things which are both extremely useful and stunningly beautiful.
Form married function and the Portland Peppermill Company was born.
I work mostly with subterranean tree roots, as they contain the most intriguing characteristics, being the anchors that ground the trees to the planet. The process for every piece takes between 1-2 years from start to finish. First the water logged roots need to be meticulously cut up dried out. When the piece is dry and stable (12-18 months), it goes into the studio, is prayerfully turned on the lathe, sanded, inlayed, oiled and branded. And the process is completed.
I approach most days, inspired for what lies ahead, thankful for the fingers on my hands and the work in front of me. The process of working with Earth’s raw materials grounds me, teaches me patience and provides me with a sense of purpose.