Gary began working in wood as a teenager, terrifying his parents by exploring how much he could shape and alter wood on his father’s shopsmith. Continuing to work in wood over the years, he began to seriously explore it as a craft fifteen years ago when he built his own woodworking studio. Gary now specializes in functional art pieces.
“Wood speaks to you through texture, grain, color, and finish,” he says. “You can enhance the fluidity of a soft birds-eye maple by juxtaposing it with the denser, darker tones of walnut, each showcasing and elevating the best qualities of the other.”
A methodical artist, Gary enjoys the precision and planning required to create in wood. While he appreciates the looser creative process of turning bowls on a lathe, where shape and form decisions can be made during the process, it’s the pinpoint precision and planning for details like wooden hinges and dovetail joints which he enjoys the most. “Working in wood requires a lot of planning, math, and patience,” he says, “but the results can be spectacular.”
Gary works in a variety of sustainable woods, sourced from all over the world. He prefers to hand-plane wood for smaller pieces, just as colonial craftsmen did. “You develop a feel for the wood and how it will handle,” he says, “and you’re rewarded by a butter-smooth finish.”
Gary has been involved in arts organizations for many years, serving with his wife as co-chairs of Artfest in 1990 and as co-presidents of The 500, Inc. in 1991, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the arts of Dallas each year. In recent years, he has put his woodworking skills to use helping to build homes for Habitat for Humanity.
Gary’s professional career has also been built around wood. A builder and remodeler, Gary has served on the board and as president of NARI (National Association of Remodelers, Inc.) and on the board and the Remodelers Council of the Dallas Builders Association. He has been recognized in the “Best of D” by D Magazine annually for many years.
17. Preston Hollow Studios