A personal moment....

On Saturday, November 11, 2006, barefoot on a beach in South Carolina, in the company of my two incredible and beautiful daughters, I married my ONE and ONLY! The remaining chapters of my life will be lovingly shared with the woman I cherish. Salena, I LOVE YOU!!!

My thoughts, a little history and a never forgotten friend.


My carving story starts at a lakeside campsite in south eastern Kentucky. We needed firewood and the hatchet handle had just broken. I found a branch and carved a new hatchet handle (it is still in use today). Afterward, I found a piece of red oak from a fallen tree and began carving. This carving became my first Native American piece. Looking back, I had always had a pocket knife (Dad saw to that) so it's no surprise that I would whittle. The whittling and the pocket knife have been replaced with carving and my favorite carving tool, a Stanley Classic Utility Knife. I had one I used for 12 years, but it finally gave out. My new utility knife is a Craftsman. It is not a favorite yet, but well on the way to becoming one.

Fast forward almost 20 years later... My box of carving tools has grown significantly, but the trusty utility knife is still used often. Since the camping trip my art and I have been featured on a national television network, written about in newspapers, magazines and blogs. Exhibits of my art have been hosted by galleries, city and county governments. It has been my pleasure to carve pieces for Gretchen Wilson, James Marsters, the President of McDonald's, the President of Island Def Jam Records, cities, universities, musicians, authors, attorneys, physicians, photographers, professors, theologians, police, fire, military units, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. I thank you for the opportunity to express myself and my passion for the art in so many ways and for so many different reasons. I am truly grateful everyday I get to create.

Since 2003 when HipShot Wood Carving was founded, I have shipped carvings to clients in 40 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, Bermuda, Asia, Australia and Europe. And to think it all started with a broken hatchet handle.

I have many thoughts about wood and the art I create, here are a few. Just ask if you want to know more.

My artistic expression is rooted in my love of the natural beauty of wood. Everything I create is guided by the single tenet, “Take what the wood gives”.

 I do not employ computerized or programmable carving machines, only those tools I control with my two hands.
I never paint my wood art. The allure of the wood, the color, the grain and the imperfections are all treated as part of the process and are often highlighted, not hidden.
It is my deep conviction that nature produces that which no one can best. I view the wood as some view diamonds, no one can create the beauty of a diamond, only enhance it. My purpose as an artist is to expose the natural  brilliance that was created by the hand of a higher power.

Mr. Shakey guards the sawdust...

Mr. Shakey

Meet, Mr. Shakey... He is my Rhodesian Ridgeback and another wood loving member of the HipShot Wood Carving family. At 8 weeks he was curling up and taking naps on a pile of wood shavings in the workshop. At 5 months old he thought wood scraps were teething toys. Full grown, he is the official HWC protector of the sawdust. We think he fits right in with the rest of the crazy wood lovers here in the HipShot Wood shop.

Update, August 2011, Mr. Shakey is almost 5 years old and 108 lbs of wannabe lion hunting hound.

framed face woodcarving




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