About Me
I was born and raised in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, near the shores of Lake Michigan.  My father is a mechanical engineer, and from a young age I was encouraged to explore and learn about the way things worked, and tinker in the basement workshop.  I grew up working with my hands, and a lot of my early interests - model making, remote control planes, cars, and hovercraft, LEGOS, and generally taking things apart - developed an early love for engineering and craftsmanship.  I was also captivated by antiques, clocks, and other devices with lots of moving parts.
 

In 1999, as a 4th grade student, I "found" music when I began viola lessons through my elementary school, and I have never looked back.  Through the guidance of many very tallented, patient, and wise individuals, my love for music (and its many facets) was refined.  In 8th grade, when working on a "career" project, I took a shot in the dark to try to combine my love of working with my hands and my love of music, and came up with Lutherie.


My studies in Lutherie began in 2003, when I was taken under the wing of my then private music lessons teacher and Sheboygan Luthier Mark Cooley.  Mark had a passion for music and fine woodworking, and through the work we did in his shop and the instruments we built together, I learned not only about the craft itself but about the good characteristics of the craftsman.  

I hold a BFA in Musicology and a certificate in Celtic Studies from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, which I attended from 2007 to 2011 on the Ruth De Young Kohler Scholarship for the Arts which I won as a senior in high school for my work with traditional Irish music and Lutherie.

In 2011, I was hired by Classic Violins, a family owned and run violin shop in Mundelein, Illinois.  I recieved further extensive training from world-class luthiers Petio Kostov, Plamen Chavdarov, and Georgi Shumanov, which exponentially expanded my knowledge, understanding, and skill in the luthier's art. 
  
While my primary work is repairing and restoring (and occasionally building) string instruments, my interests are vast and varried.  I enjoy recreating movie and television props and other whimsical complications.  I model British steam locomotives in OO gauge, and American prototypes in HOn3 narrow gauge.  I collect (amongst other things) fine tools, antiques, instruments, unique music related items and technology, and chronogrpahs.  I repair and restore antique typewriters and bicycles.
 
In the arts, I have a wide spectrum of interests and have had my thumb in many pies.  I have performed in leading roles in varrious plays and musicals, including Gilbert & Sullivans's "The Mikado", Bart's "Oliver!", Woody Allen's "Don't Drink the Water", and Kesselring's "Arsenic and Old Lace" to name a few.  I have competed in and judged high school Forensics (competitive speaking and acting) in a number of categories.  I've studied drawing, painting, and sculpting as well, and am a lover of literature and reading.


I count myself incredibly fortunate to be doing what I do today.  I have the privilage of sharing music with others, helping to educate, and working with my hands to help continue a tradition of craftsmanship that has been developing for centuries.  With the opportunities and privilages I have been given, I feel a great personal responsibility to help pass on my love for music and woodworking to others, and do my best to share what has been given to me.