I'm from Nashville, TN, have a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Tennessee, a Master of Fine Art from the University of Washington in Seattle, and am currently working toward a Master of Design from the University of Washington with a focus on User Experience and Interaction Design. I'm pretty excited about figuring out how to interact with the next digital frontier, augmented & virtual realities. I'm curious as to what affect they will have on our lives, culture, and the way we interact with space, form, and each other. We have a responsibility to think thouroughly about those choices.
This tree and I are roughly the same age. It grew mostly unnoticed a few houses away from where I grew up until later in life when I carved it into a stool. Years after I'd moved away, but before I found the tree, I had gotten the idea that I wanted to carve a stool specifically from a solid piece of maple for its lighter color. I wanted it to contrast with a black stool I had made from the metal of an old Chevy pickup truck I found at a salvage yard in Seattle. Both stools would be made by people but the metal version was much more cold, dark, and mechanical of an idea than the warm and organically grown light colored tree, which in my mind was the inverted opposite.
I was having a hard time locating a log that would work though. I wasn't a lumberjack. Later that year a temporary work opportunity brought me back to Tennessee. I stayed in the house that I grew up in with my Dad who still lived there. One day I left for work and noticed a large maple tree laying down in the neighbor's yard. I started to drive by but then turned around when I realized I would probably never have another chance to discover a freshly fallen maple tree of that size. The idea of the stool reentered my mind and I asked the neighbors if I could have a section of the fallen tree. They said yes but to get it fairly soon because the power company who cut it down would return on Monday to chip it up. I rushed over to the hardware store to purchase a chainsaw and watched youtube videos educating myself on how not to cut my leg off. I then called a good friend with a trailer. My Dad, my friend Trace, and I hoisted the log onto the trailer with a hand wench. Over the next months, I learned how to pull the object that was in my mind from the tree. As I carved and as the wood dried, it began to change its structure. Soon after forming the basic shape, a crack opened up and over the course of the six month process the crack grew more distinct, testing the boundaries of consistency and patience. The wood finally stabilized allowing me to continue carving, shaping the details. The final result was a stool but it had also been defined by the process and resembled a clock's face with references to time and the measures of its history, existing between its metaphor and its function.
Simple forms often have deep histories preceding their present. I'm interested in finding the ways that we relate to each other through abstract languages of perception. I've been dedicating most of my recent time to pursuing the language and experience of design by following my deep curiosities and learning through observation, engagement, collaboration, and persistence. As a graduate student in the Master of Design program at the University of Washington in Seattle, I feel particularly lucky to be studying under the diverse creative faculty and along with talented peers. My design interests include experience and interaction design, and the graphical visual communication that compliments such things. Presently I have a particular interest in designing ideas for 3-dimensional space, augmented & virtual reality experiences, and related forms. I look forward to meeting you.