During my senior year at N.C. State’s School of Design I attended a visiting designer’s slide lecture. Asked his opinion of a book he had designed, he admitted he hadn’t read it as he doesn’t have time to read the books he designs, and without so much as awkward pause it was onto to the next slide. Mustering up the vim and vigor of an idealistic 22-year-old I vowed I would not become like this. It may very well be the way of the world, but it was not going to become my world.

After graduating in 1994, I headed for the hills—specifically, Mitchell County—and the Penland School of Crafts where I participated in the Core Student work/study fellowship program. Learning from a revolving group of visiting craftspersons (and fellow students from all walks of life) in a workshop-centered environment, I concentrated in letterpress printing, bookbinding, and papermaking. I gained inspiration from potters and metalworkers who were making functional everyday items and turning the use of utilitarian objects into elevated acts of aesthetic enjoyment. I saw by integrating design with making, that I could work as a graphic designer in an appealing way; a way that would be a refreshing antidote to what I saw as a culture increasingly hellbent on favoring slickness and high volume over intimacy and tactileness. Branding over content.

In 1996 (along with Ray Duffey who has since gone on to pursue a career in woodworking/sculpture) I established Horse & Buggy Press at “Antfarm”—a still active self-governing artist/artisan cooperative established by a group of fellow design school graduates. A former washboard factory in Boylan Heights, this was H&B’s home for seven years. One of my last activities at Antfarm was organizing a 33-person, 400-piece exhibition at the Gregg Museum for Antfarm’s tenth anniversary. This included co-writing and designing the exhibition catalogue (which featured ten different letterpress-printed cover designs within the edition of 1,000).

In 2003 H&B trotted over the county line into Durham (working out of Al Frega's barn temporarily), and in 2005 I co-founded the Bull City Arts Collaborative with filmmaker Kenny Dalsheimer (The Groove Productions). Housed in a former Rambler Nash showroom at 401 Foster Street for nearly a dozen years, we enjoyed being a part of the re-kindling of downtown Durham (which we then got priced out of, an age-old story).

Since February 2017, we have been working at 1116 Broad Street, at the edge of the residential Old West Durham/Watts Hospital Hillandale/Walltown neigbhorhood I've lived in since 2003.. That's right. I walk to work most days. The studio is an on old grocery store building shared by Watts Grocery Restaurant and Oval Park Grille, and just up the block from The Green Room Pool Hall, Craven Allen Gallery and House of Frames, Joe Van Gogh coffeehouse, and several other independent neighborhood-based businesses.

I work as designer/art director/project manager/typesetter/production coordinator on all things ink on paper, sometimes incorporating hand-printing on the letterpress when appropriate and within budget parameters. If you need someone to print your exisiting design, I'm not your guy. But call me, I know good people for that kind of thing.