It all started when…

…..my friend Robin and I decided to build us a house when we were about 10 years old and so we had access to a bunch of old boards and such and we built a 2 story house out of them. Later, I lived with a family that had decided to build an odobe chapel on their property so I lived in the back room and helped them build it for over a year. I built a real house around a 30 foot trailer, named The Pink Palacio, and it got in a color glossy coffee table book about early American solar homes, mine being about the most cost effective one in the book. I did more of that kind of building and also got lots of experience laying adobe walls and brick floors, then built a big log shop with my partner an teacher in Tesuque and then I started remodeling all kinds of houses, learned the furniture making and wood carving trade where we helped create the exciting cultural objects known now as “Santa Fe Style”, and all of the various disciplines got added to my repertoire, including all kinds of plastering, electrical, plumbing, roofing, floors of all sorts, cabinets, solar glazing, roof structures and ceilings, tiling, concrete work, architectural design and drafting (I actually went to Architecture School in UNM for a few years until we had a child and bought a homestead and needed to build another house and all), framing, both stick and timber…..well you name it, I did it until I was quite a designer/builder and what some call a ‘bricoleur’; someone who knows how to utilize the objects around him in order to create things of all sorts. Of course, it helped to be the step-son of Ken Kern who coined the expression, “Owner-Builder” and wrote all kinds of books about it and promoted owner-building. It helped to discover that there was a living to be made in the building trades in the Santa Fe area and I got a reputation for being able to handle the more complex kinds of work, skilled work with hardwoods and quality construction. I kept my hand in doing my own structures over the years, compiling quite a body of work of houses that I built, often by myself or with one helper. I learned hard trowel and all kinds of plastering from John Sisson, plastering contractor; I learned furniture making from Oliver Pijoan and self teaching; I then studied bronze casting and cast iron work at Highlands University, eventually adding glass and wrought iron skills, creating architectual ornaments of all sorts.