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Back in September, having just driven back to New England from the IPTW in Ohio, I was at a RFP meeting at a site in Connecticut.  There were several other contractors there, but none that I immediately recognized. We all did the introduction game and proceeded to mill around, waiting for the meeting and walk through to commence.  We were there to look at a large exhibition hall at a fairground complex dating from the second half of the nineteenth century, and so as we milled, we quietly made comments to each other. The meeting went along, and it was clear to me that there was another preservationist at this meeting, and that the rest were not specialists.

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I grew up in central Kentucky and we always lived in older houses so I got a feel for old houses early on. When I was a teenager we moved to Northern KY and later it was here I got my start in historic preservation. I worked for a Mick Noll who was converting an old firehouse into a restaurant. I was impressed by the man who restored the wooden windows. He was meticulous with the details but still he moved right along. He restored all the windows to smooth working order. Another fellow, an older carpenter had an apprentice who really was not so interested in the work. I paid close attention however and picked up a lot. I learned early on to hustle when I helped him. If I fell behind I would hear "dollar waiting on a dime" and so pick it up to keep him happy and so I could keep working with him. 

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My interest in building replicas of 17th and 18th century American furniture began in 1972 from a Humanities professor of mine in college who introduced me to period tools and early American furniture.I started gathering tools, studying styles, design and construction, visiting museums and historic sites, going to sawmills, and working in earnest. I continued this self taught education for eight years and went into business in 1980.

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In my youth, I developed a taste for speed, power and noise, but as time goes by I'm increasingly drawn to the peaceful pleasures of naturally-powered human inventions. Kayaking and sailing are among my favorite recreational pursuits these days. Collecting vintage hand tools is another. Like so many middle-aged men, I've never outgrown my fascination with machinery and tools. 

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The Foundations Are Set: Build The Cornerstones

The Savannah Technical College Center for Traditional Craft in partnership with the Preservation Trades Network and the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTBAU) USA, will host the 5th International Trades Education Symposium (ITES) May 14-16 2015 at Savannah Technical College in Savannah, Georgia USA.

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