February 29, 2012

Featured Shop

Check out FoggyHoller, his paintings are so fabulous!
Rob generously painted me a custom made picture, and sent it to me for free! I thought he deserved this feature. Go check his shop out!


Tell me a bit about yourself.

I was born in the small coastal town of Port Hueneme, CA about 25 miles north of Malibu. My dad was a career U.S. Navy Seabee and was gone a lot. I was raised mostly by my Mom and her parents. I was big brother to a brother and sister. We bounced around a lot and I went to many different schools. We lived on the island of Guam for a few years and then later on the island of Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian chain. That’s where I graduated High School in 1965. We had a graduating class of 12 so I can honestly say I was in the top 12 of my class. That number would be higher if we had more people. I had attended 5 different high schools by that time. I joined up and became a Seabee myself after HS and made a couple of trips to Vietnam (my brother also followed as a Seabee after I'd left). It’s the way we were raised and I would’nt have it any other way. When I got out I went back up to Alaska and worked as a State Trooper, Fairbanks Firefighter/Paramedic, Smoke Jumper and finally got tired of the cold and headed south. I was a navigator on a ship for a couple of years and then worked as a Firefighter with California Dept of Forestry. I joined the Border Patrol in 1977 and was stationed in San Diego. That was fun. I was on the Horse Patrol, Signcut (tracking) detail, pistol team, range officer, instructor, the BP version of SWAT and the Bandit Team. I lived in Imperial Beach (right on the beach) and my off duty time was spent mostly drinking and surfing. Then I met the lady I would marry and that put an end to my irresponsibility. Married in 85 I transferred in 1993 to the northern border in Oroville, WA as a Senior Inspector and transferred again to Raleigh, NC as a Special Agent. We are still here in Raleigh.

2) Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I’m retired now and a little banged up. I still teach a little martial arts to select people. It is a Filipino art called Escrima or Kali. I’ve done that for about 25 years. Some boxing too. I coached baseball and softball for a while when my kids were into it. 2 girls and a boy. I’ve always played baseball and softball so that was just a natural thing to do. Other than that I like to read and drink wine and splash paint.

3) Where do you get your inspiration from?

I don’t really have a source of “inspiration”. I’ve never taken any art classes (didn’t even have an art class on Adak). I’ve never known any real artists and I don’t know the different styles and stuff like that. I just like to see what I can do and when I do it, then I try to improve on it. I tend to get stuck on “themes”. Right now I seem to be doing a bunch of lighthouses. I know that will change,

4) What does handmade mean to you?

To me handmade is something a person creates with feeling. It has a personal touch and the finished product is special to the artists themselves. Handmade conveys pride in the accomplishment of a finished product and whether it’s a gift or a commercial product I think the artist is the one who appreciates it most. To me, if it’s just slapped together for a profit it’s not “handmade” it’s “assembled”.

5) Who or what has been most influential, inspiring, or helped you along the way?

Other than my life experiences (I’ve seen and done a lot) I would have to say my Dad gave me the insight to not take myself too seriously but also to never give up on something you want to accomplish. Thanks Dad. RIP. Also, my wife kicks me in the butt when I get lazy and is an endless source of encouragement. I am my harshest critic and often get discouraged with my inability to get it right.

6) What is your absolute favorite shop here on Etsy?
There are so many shops on Etsy that it is impossible (for me anyway) to have a favorite shop. I would have to say without prejudice that my wife’s shop ncbeadsnbags, and my daughter’s shop the indigo forest are two of my favorites. I love their stuff and I’m proud of their talent and dedication to their art. Their items are truly “handmade”.

7) Where would you like to be in the near future?
Being an old bastard and a cancer survivor I would like to still be alive in the near (and far) future. 4 grandkids and counting. I want to meet all their children.

8) Would you like to say anything else?
Nah, I’ve been longwinded enough. Thanks very much for this opportunity to share.

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