As a personal lifelong learner, I am driven by the belief that the pursuit of knowledge and the embrace of new experiences are essential components of a fulfilling life. My teaching philosophy is grounded in the idea that learning, particularly in creative pursuits, should be valued for its intrinsic worth rather than solely for its potential commercial or professional outcomes.
I welcome students who are seeking a one-and-done experience—an opportunity to dip their toes into the world of leather crafting without the expectation of long-term commitment. For those who are looking for an introduction to a new hobby, my teaching approach centers on providing a supportive and exploratory space where curiosity is encouraged, mistakes are seen as part of the learning process, and the joy of creating takes precedence. Simultaneously, I am open to guiding individuals who are interested in leveraging their leather crafting skills for profit, equipping them with the necessary knowledge and techniques to navigate the intersection of creativity and entrepreneurship.
In my classroom, I prioritize a learner-centric approach, recognizing the diverse motivations and goals of each student. I create an inclusive and collaborative environment that celebrates the unique journey of each individual, fostering a sense of community where students can share their experiences, insights, and creations.
Born and raised in Michigan, I proudly call the Metro Detroit area home. My academic journey led me to the University of Michigan, where I earned three engineering diplomas that now serve me well in my role as a project engineer at an aerospace engineering company.
Surprising as it may seem, my technical background didn't deter me from diving into the world of leather crafting. My childhood fascination with fantasy, gaming, and all things geeky eventually led me to renaissance fairs, competitive axe throwing, and live-action role-playing (LARP). It was through these unique interests that I discovered a desire for crafting my own leather armor, pouches, sheaths, and garb. In 2019, I attended the Leathercraft 101 class here at the MI Folk School and I haven’t looked back. Since then, I've transformed a corner of my home into a fully functional leather smithing studio where I enjoy the fulfilling process of creating leather goods for myself, my friends and family, and occasionally things for sale.
Having navigated the transition from a predominantly left-brained profession to a creative pursuit, I understand the challenges and rewards of balancing technical expertise with artistic expression. I am confident in my ability to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds, fostering their success in the world of leather crafting. Together, we can take a simple piece of hide and transform it into a practical, useful, or fun item that can be enjoyed for decades. Let's embark on this creative journey together!