Like many couples Annie and I have been collaborating since the very beginning. Going on 40 years now. College and careers. Children. Gardens and renovations. Everything is negotiated or dictated but mostly collaborated. The art started with a do-it-yourself mentality that comes from successfully plumbing a 1790-era colonial and actually having hot and cold, and toilets that flush. It comes from seeing art but mostly being moved by art. And so you start and you realize it’s NOT as easy as it looks. So you put in your 10,000 hours and you take classes and still you are your own worst critic. Every once in a while, though, something slips through, something you made that moves you like real art. And it’s worth all the hours.
My maternal grandparents were artists. Mary Emmert was a survivor of the 1918 worldwide influenza epidemic who went on to produce many canvases of watercolor and oil that hang in many homes. Kenneth Loyal Emmert was a survivor of polio, metallurgist, organist, philatelist, writer and woodworker. Their inspiration is with me everyday.
I can remember walking into his wood shop and breathing in the fragrance of walnut and oak. I remember being intrigued by the machines, but especially the lathe. I was able to work with his equipment after he passed away. It was an honor. It would have been better if he was there.
I built my own shop, in collaboration with Annie, who has a gift at spotting bargains, and with expert guidance from master craftsmen and artists like Tom McLaughlin and Bihn Pho, I have slowly gained ground.
Nothing I make is without the support and scrutiny of my collaborator. Annie makes my work art.