I work full time pursuing one of my other passions in life, the natural world. My work as a Wildlife Biologist keeps me very busy as I am often off hiking somewhere in remote areas of the Pacific Northwest chasing critters for extended periods of time. (Actually there is a bit more to it than that…)
My wife, son and I spend time working on and around the house and the land we own, the small farm we have. We also enjoy traveling.
All these things have meant that, at this time, I sharpen/repair, and craft, knives on a case by case basis. I seem to be more of a “knife tinkerer” these days.
But if you are interested, I would love to talk with you about knifemaking, or anything else, for that matter. I enjoy questions so feel free to ask about anything you see (or don’t see) here. I don’t believe in knifemaking secrets. Someone was good enough to show or tell me, so I will do the same. Just don’t get cross if it takes me a few days to get back to you.
And if you have a knife in need of some TLC, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email.
Use the contact form to send me an email.
A snapshot of my life up to now
The abridged version of my life goes something like this:
I was born at home in Berkeley, CA, but celebrated my first birthday in Oregon.
I grew up on a small 70 acre farm in the western foothills of the Cascade Mountains near Myrtle Creek, OR where we grew much of what we ate, hand-milked cows, raised pigs, chickens, Brown Swiss cows, geese, an occasional duck and many mice and blacktail deer.
My family lived in a small, un-insulated farmhouse, heating and cooking solely with wood. We hand milked our cows and sold the raw milk in our local community, as well as eggs and some produce. We made butter and ice cream by hand and our only source for water was from the creek that ran off of our forest, unprocessed or filtered.
The land included over 40 acres of mixed forest that was, although logged in the past, of late seral stage and with many fewer enforced rules about private land back then, there weren’t many boundaries I had to follow in my wanderings.
I spent almost all of my free time as a younger person exploring the natural world around me in the forests and streams where I lived, either by myself, or with my younger brother.
I like to think that this environment helped me, at an early age, mature into a “wood rat” (a corruption of the term often used by folks who enjoy bumming around in desert environs).
That land, that space, I grew up in has a very special place in my heart, and soul. It is not the house or other buildings; but the trees, creeks and hills where I spent so much of my time. I am not denying that I experienced difficult, even occasionally unpleasant times there as a child, but I have no bad memories of being in the woods there. And though my family and I have our own small farm and space now, I feel oddly the most at home, at peace, whenever I am back there.
Those woods, and the “dirt” time I spent there, are what inspired me to work hard, steadily to find (make?) employment in the natural resources and the science of the natural world, before I really even knew you could make a living doing it. It may sound a little extreme, but I think, in many ways, I owe my life to that space and my time there.
For better, or worse, I was blessed with a childhood somewhat limited in “stuff”, etc., but with ample opportunity to spend time out or door; a lot of time.
I grew up without television, and still have not grown to fully appreciate it.
Books were a large part of my childhood, and occupied the balance of my time when I was not outside (or occasionally when I was outside). I read a lot of early science fiction (Vern, Wells, Shaw, Analog magazine) and books by outdoor writers (Seton, London, Paulson, Rawls, Kjelgaard). I treasured my small collection of Golden Nature Guides.
I was home-schooled (what would be termed “unschooled” today) until I entered public school in the latter half of the 5th Grade.
After graduating from high school I went on to get a degree in biology at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After finishing my Thesis in Animal Behavior and Conservation Biology at Reed, my fiancée and I needed a break, so we had a public celebration of our union and joined the Northwest Service Academy (Americorps) and moved to Trout Lake, WA. We both had a truly amazing time over the next two years, and learned a great deal, as well as feeling that we did something significant to help our country and world. We then moved back to Oregon. I pursued my “career” as a scientist, and my wife obtained a license in Early Childhood Special Education, going on to teach for a local ESD.
We purchased a little bit of land with an older home on it near Albany, OR, and our son was born several years after that.
I can be obsessive/compulsive and opinionated at times.
I try to love life and enjoy the small and simple aspects of the universe and how I interact with it. That is not to say there aren’t days when I get frustrated with Life, The Universe, and Everything. But I do try to be optimistic and enjoy my time here without intentionally causing others undue pain or suffering, or being in a hurry to get to the end. So far, that approach seems to work for me. I am not perfect, and I hope I never am.
I have many other interests and pursuits. Some of these (at this time) include just about all aspects of natural history, ethnobotany, indigenous technology and living skills, traditional field craft, outdoor photography, small-scale homesteading and all that it entails, and discussing and implementing ideas and methods for increasing our positive impact on the world and people around us.
Hey, at least I am never bored…
Over years I have built a not insubstantial reference collection of books related to natural history and the outdoors.
I can’t seem to stop myself from checking out a bookstore when I see one in my travels, hunting for additions.
I have a deep appreciation for the natural world; all aspects of it fascinate me, and outside is where I feel the most at home.
It is a very big part of who I am, how I spend my time.
Although I think I would be considered friendly, and enjoy socializing and spending time with others, I truly relish my alone time in the outdoors. Scouting, foraging, or just looking for the opportunity to share time with a critter in its daily life. Be it in the forested mountains, open shrubby valleys, along streams, it is a blessing. It is important to me that I participate in the world, the outdoors, not just walk through it.
My knife and tool designs almost all come directly from my experiences outdoors, and how I can create a tool that will work well there. When I am working on a design, I am often impatient to get out and test it in the field to see if it will meet the need I imagined.
Below I share a small list, in no particular order, of some of the places I have had the opportunity to explore/adventure in, hoping to inspire you to get out there.
Umpqua National Forest
Mt. Hood National Forest
Ocala National Forest
Parque Nacional Tikal
Elliot State Forest
Yellowstone National Park
Parque Nacional Valcon Masaya
Everglades National Park
Three Sisters Wilderness
Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve
Redwood National Park
Banff National Park
Biscayne Bay Aquatic Preserve
Olympic National Park
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge
Reserva Natural Atitlan
Crater Lake National Park
Jasper National Park
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Laguna de Apoyo
Bull of the Woods Wilderness
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
Reserve Nacional Padre Ramos
Drift Creek Wilderness
Valley of the Kings
Joshua Tree National Park
Mountain Lakes Wilderness
Opal Creek Wilderness
Midland Provincial Park
Bogue Chitto State Park
Lassen National Park
Anza-Borrego State Park
Lava Beds National Park
Rock Creek Wilderness