This is a part of my life i always try to be as open about as i can; because as sad and/or as uncomfortable as my early years were, they are what led me into the place where i could begin to see that "GOD" really Loved "ME", in spite of all i seemed to do to drive Him away... My Grandfather, whom i never got a chance to meet was an early convert to the "Pentecostal" way of reaching out to God, so growing up, (in middle Tennessee and Southern Illinois) that was all my Mom ever knew anything about religion. Her Dad died when she was 13 (about 1929-30) and, being the families "Daddy's Girl" i think it was harder on my Mom than it could have been. She married twice rather young, then married my Dad when she was 30. They were together a bit less than 2 months when she divorced him; and i as later told she was not sure that she was pregnant when the split happened... "Growing up without a father..." i was in my early forties when i began to learn much of the failures in my life stemmed from the fact that i had not had the kind of attention that i needed as a child. i also learned that my affection for "breaking and entering", alcohol (and , later, drugs), spending time in the Army, prison and also in a "religious personality cult" were all much more common in the life of a man who 'grew up without a father'. Through all of the sorrows of my younger life, i still knew, somehow, in the back of my mind, that "Jesus Loved me" and maybe someday i would start to listen to Him.
"My Medium" is working with wood, but not in the commonly accepted way that "Woodworkers" are commonly known to go about their ways. Almost all of my work is done with a hand-held power tool known as a "flex-shaft tool". i begin with cutting the basic pattern (drawn onto the wood with a "magic marker") into the wood, (usually using a hand-held 'jig saw') then rounding off the sharp edges, and drawing the "Mobius Band" pattern into place. Then, using one of the most dangerous tools known to mankind, i grind the basic pattern into place (at 20,000 RPM!) with a grinding bit in my flex-shaft tool. i then switch to a 'sanding' attachment (for the same tool, but at about 500 rpm) and work up with "50 grit" sandpaper, to "120 grit", then "180 grit" and on to finishing with "220 grit". Sometimes i use a type of 'wood wax' for the final finishing, but most often a "Wipe-On-Poly" made by "Minwax".
My connection to the "Art World" began back in the late sixties with writing Poetry. After almost killing myself with an overdose of "Black Windowpane" LSD in 1971, i left all of my 'hippy-ism 'behind. In 1985 i learned a friend of mine was near death, and the funeral would be coming up pretty soon. These lines went thru my mind... "Lay the warriors weapons in a pile there at her feet/ Clothe her in beribboned Battledress, her last campaign complete... those lines led me to write a Poem that was 50-60 lines long and i was invited to read it at "Shirley Zorzi's" funeral... That Poem opened the door to the World of Poetry in a wonderful way; and i stayed with it until 2008, when a new artistic endeavor began to happen in my life. Carving "Mobius Band" Sculptures became a serious focus for me, and the Poetry just seemed to slip away... (i do miss the poetry somewhat, but i was almost never able to 'sell' one of my poems, but from time to time someone will actually purchase one of my sculptures and i really do enjoy that!) ((i am pretty sure that the human family will never have a 'stronger' symbol to illustrate the thought of something "that has no beginning and has no end" than the
"Mobius Band" Math concept))
My "Inspiration" in the field of ~Sculpture~ sort of 'fell' into my brain during my 'hippy years' when i learned of some of the work done by the Dutch Artist "M. C. Escher". i was in a "head shop" one day and happened to see an odd poster (done by Escher) sort of like the shape of a 'figure 8' but it was also kind of 3-dimensional with a twist in it, and appeared to be made out of 'lattice work'... AND it had "nine" Red Ants crawling around it, all in a well organized line (as it the Ants had be taught to crawl so nicely!). i might have been stoned the first time i saw it, but it REALLY got my attention, to the point where i still have not forgotten it. That experience led me to begin to read about Escher, and that led me into beginning to understand what the meaning was behind the odd "lattice-work figure 8". The German Mathematician/Theoretical Astronomer "Augustus Mobius" is credited with being the first person to conceive of an object that 'has a single surface and a single edge'; and the Math World decided to call it "The Mobius Band". (Yes, i know there is a controversy about whether it should b called "Band" or "Strip", but U ought 2b able 2c that i am n the "Band" camp.) That thought rattled around in my brain for years; i made "Mobius Bands" out of paper and cut them over and over again to enjoy the 'almost magic' event that happened when one would cut it with a pair of scissors in a certain way, and explained it to my friends on occasion. i even commissioned one to be made for a friends wedding, by a magnificent Wood Sculptor in Nashville, TN., but the fun, for me, began after i retired in 2008. One day (late spring/early summer) i decided i would try to make a wooden 'Mobius Band sculpture' all by myself. Working with an electrical hand drill, using interchangeable bits, i carved my first piece (i have it still!). It was SUCH and interesting thing to do that now i have done over eleven hundred of them (!) and am still enjoying it...