S. A. Carlson
I am an Orthodox Christian, a sojourner, a father of two daughters, a husband, a carpenter… a maker of things wooden. I have no official credentials, no extensive formalized training or certificates when it comes to my craft and my vocation. I have learned from experience, observation, study, inquiry, and above all from the help, support, and encouragement of family, friends, past employers, patrons, and strangers alike.
I think it apt to simply let my work speak for itself, allowing it to reveal an ethos – unpretentiously, holistically, and without self-ordination.
I was born and raised in Montana. For what it’s worth, I have a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Montana. In my youth, I worked seasonally for the USDA Forest Service in Montana, Idaho, and Alaska counting trees and fighting wildfires. I’ve worked on vegetable farms in Ohio and Vermont and tried to milk cows in New Hampshire. I’ve had the good fortune of working for both a log builder and a timber-framer, long before the thought of striking out on my own was even a nudge. John & Nathan generously shared their knowledge of both craft and business with me. I hold myself forever in their debt.
I work solo most of the time, but depend upon all those that surround me all of the time. I answer the phone and e-mail (sometimes), draw designs by hand with paper and pencil, move timber from here to there and back again, cut joinery, and sweep the shop floor at day’s end. Some days, drudgery; yet most days, illuminating.
I am neither inventor nor artist, but merely a practitioner of an ancient craft. I hold no claim to mastery or perfection of that which is so broad and so deep.
I strive always to do my best. Integrity and my full attention, these are my simple offerings. I look to tradition for guidance and precedence- it serves as map & anchor. As I once read or perhaps was told, “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire“. I too am compelled to preserve the fire… and share it’s light.
“For no matter what you do, you should keep in mind the Creator of all things.” -St. Peter of Damascos