"From an early age, creating fine objects has always been one of my passions. From silver prints to metal sculpture, creating something from raw materials has always been very rewarding." - Gene 2014
Because one of Gene's passions was photography and art, he attended art school where he majored in photography. He began interning with a commercial photographer he met early on and thus began his trek in the photographic medium. He continued shooting various subjects and got into hand applied emulsion. His main body of work entitled "Age of Innocence" was on display in various galleries through-out the east coast. At the same time he became interested in metal work.
After attending a metal working school, he started working in a shop where he fabricated numerous objects out of steel. He began doing this on the side as well, mainly to explore his artist side and to create sculpture. This shop experience lasted 15 plus years while he took up an interest in wood working. Mostly out of necessity, he just enjoyed creating things.
A few years had passed and Gene began creating cabinets and doing small woodworking projects. Because of his design and art background, he took a liking to designing and creating the blue prints for various projects. After he and his wife moved cross country to Arizona, there was a period in time where he was unable to create. Twelve years lapsed and much like a festering wound, his passion to create was continually eating at him. Having no place to do much of anything, he began creating new fine-art prints in a tiny closet sized darkroom and began selling his work in juried art shows. This was fun but when the economy fell this stopped. In the meantime, he was learning woodworking and joinery and enjoyed the simple fact that he was able to use these objects in his daily life.
His photographs took a back seat when he and his wife moved to a rural area in Arizona. The peaceful and serene nature of this area really helped fuel his passion for fine object creation. He basically recalls, "I just woke up one morning and started to see all these things in my head that I needed to create." To many this may sound silly or absurd; however, to him it was meaningful. Over a few years time he began creating numerous furniture pieces for his wife. He says, "My wife supports me one hundred percent in my endeavors, If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be doing any of this."
Currently, his work embodies a more retro modern feel because for now he is using this as a time-line for his endeavors and later creations. He embraces smooth flowing lines that carry through-out the piece and likes to incorporate natural characteristics of the wood species. While others may call these blemishes, he embraces them. In addition, he is influenced by many modern designers of the period and draws on that inspiration while moving forward with his own body of work.
Much of his work incorporates rounded edges because of the softness, and he likes to contrast that with more sharper undercut tops. He likes to follow "form follows function" and keeps it simple in that regard. Gene is constantly learning new things and doesn't hesitate to listen and pick the brains of more experienced artisans. "There is so much to learn he exclaims, and "so little time to learn it."
For Gene, he strives to create an heirloom quality piece at an affordable price. In today's society, that statement seems to be absurd. For some, my prices may seem high, but when you look at what you are getting and what is involved it is reasonable. "You are not really just buying a piece of furniture, you are buying the artisan." In that he means because he works with his clients to understand their budget and needs he is better able to provide a piece that they are proud to own and cherish for many years to come. He understands how difficult it is to do this and to not sell-yourself-short, but he does this out of passion and love; the bonus is another human finding enjoyment from what he has created.