“Us” is really a misnomer. It’s really just me, Gerry Brown. My son helps me in the shop when he’s not out on tour being a rock star. Most of the time I run the whole show here in my shop in downtown Asheville, NC.
I’ve always been involved with building in one way or another. In 1995 I was in a management position with a large post and beam company when I realized that, as much as I was enjoying the regular pay check and the benefits, I missed the creative aspect of being a hands on maker of things. I quit my job and spent the summer studying European Classical Relief carving with British Master Carver Ian Agrell in San Francisco.
When I set up my shop in Asheville I tried putting carvings on doors, thinking of it as a way to market my carving skills, and it did launch things for me. The response to my doors was very positive and I have continued to focus on that market, gradually including other architectual components such as carved mantels, built-ins, and furniture. The carving is my first love, though, and fortunately, enough of my customers have requested carved elements on their doors or other architectural elements to keep me involved.
I continued my carving education getting some instruction from Nora Hall, an 87 year old third generation carver from Holland, now living in Michigan. She is a treasure! See my blog for a piece on Nora. I’ve also studied figurative carving with noted wood sculptor Bob Trotman.
I feel very lucky to be involved in a livelihood that gives me so much personal satisfaction and enjoyment.
I share a house and Japanese garden with my wife, glass artist Catharine Brown, our papillons, Leo and Greta, and a pond full of koi.