I have called Kalamazoo home since 1989 when the Kalamazoo Civic theater hired me to be their new Youth Theater Technical Director. Since that time, I have designed and built hundreds of shows for many of the areas’ theatre’s including The Whole Art, Wellspring Dance, The API Theatre, the Barn Theatre, the Knockabout Theatre many local high schools and now Kalamazoo College and Mason Street Warehouse. When I’m not building a show, I can often be found making theatrical weapons and teaching actors how to fight with them. Having received a B.A. in technical design and production from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, I also work as a sculpture artist in my Park Trades studio whenever I have some free time. My main medium is steel, but I also works with brass, copper, fabrics and lots of reclaimed throw-a ways. The weapons and sculpture studio is named Combat Ready Art.
The fish came to me in a sketch I did then as a challenge to myself to create. After getting so much positive feedback on it, I decided to do many more. They have been the most enjoyable art I have done as well as the most difficult.
My shop is always in a state of chaos. There are always several things in the works all around and that is my work and my life. When John Thinkstead of the Park Trades building showed me this dark, wet, forgotten place I told him it was perfect. The fact that it is off the beaten path and a little secretive is perfect, I like the idea that people have to know where to go, how to find me. It’s sort of like a club that a friend has to take you to. Part of my space is in what use to be the hot water tank for the Saniwax Paper Company. It is a 10X10 steel tank that now houses all of my stage combat weapons and armor. It is a little space with a great deal of character. My new space on the first floor is a dream come true. With windows, high ceilings and a forge, nothing could be better.
Where does the name come from?
I call my art Combat Ready because of its weight and the materials I use. The fact that I make stage combat weapons doesn't hurt either, well maybe a little.
Studio website is: