Designer, CNC Programmer
"Born and raised in Wisconsin, I didn't have much exposure
to swords. My Father hunted so I was always around guns, bow and
arrows and knives. My only early exposure to swords were in the
movies. After seeing a movie with swashbuckling action, my brothers
and I would go outside and find some long, pointed sticks and "the
war would begin". I thought early on how nice it would be to something
protecting my sword hand as it was repeatally beaten by my brothers
"swords" (a guard, who knew?).
Growing up in Wisconsin my attention was always on sports. I played
football, I lived football, I loved football. Upon graduation from
West High School in Madison, I moved to San Jose California. After
spending a wonderful summer being "free" from school, I came to
the conclusion that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
My friend across the street had to go back to High School after
the summer, leaving his Dad's machine shop business shorthanded.
Tom asked me if I wanted to work for him and he would pay me $4.00
an hour. I jumped at that having no idea what machining was.
I took to it like a fish to water and was soon making parts for
the computer giants and the aerospace industry. Five years later,
I had enough of California and moved back to Wisconsin. I got a
job in a tool and die shop in Wisconsin Dells. This is the one job
that really gave me the "vision". I learned to look at a two dimensional
print and picture the whole three dimensional part in my head. I
had been programming computers since 1980 and I was able to use
"Basic" programming language to program these three dimensional
shapes with the output being in the form of a machine language program
for the CNC's (Computer Numeric Control).
I had been an artist for several years before going into machining
in 1981. I've had several machining jobs as well as Industrial /
Manufacturing Engineer, Kaizen Leader and other supervisory positions.
This is the first job that I've had that utilizes all the skills
that I have acquired over my life.
After meeting Peter Johnsson in February of 2003, I knew that I
wanted to do the same thing he did, only with American swords. I
plan on documenting American swords by traveling to museums and
homes of private collectors. It is quite a thrill to have a chance
to bring American history back to life with these sword recreations
from our past.
I worked with Peter when he documented the M1913 Patton Sabre. I
studied his technique and took careful notes of every detail. I
will work with him more in February of 2004 when he is here again
and have him watch me document a sword from the Revolutionary War.