I grew up in Chicago, went to college in Massachusetts and grad school in Illinois. Right after graduating from college I spent four years in the army, including one year deployed to Afghanistan. After finishing my term of service I wanted to do something productive for people in Afghanistan so I went back to spend another year there doing aid work.
While in Afghanistan I had the privilege of experiencing life in villages in some of the most remote corners of the country. Seeing the way people lived there, almost untouched by our modern global society, made me realize that life does not need to be nearly as complicated as we make it out to be. The people in these villages had their goats, their fields, their homes and each other and that was enough for them.
When I came home I got married to my lovely wife Emma (who I met on our first day of college). After spending a few years working to further our own separate careers, Emma in library preservation and myself in international development, both of us came to the conclusion that we'd rather be doing something that would allow us to be together. We also both love nature and prefer working outdoors with our hands to being cooped up in an office so we decided to become farmers.
So in July of 2011 we started a small diversified farm in Central Illinois (facebook.com/luckyduckfarm). We are selling meat, eggs and asian vegetables to farmer's markets in Chicago.
In January 2011 I learned about needle felting at a farmer training program my wife and I attended in Massachusetts. I had never even heard of needle felting prior to the class but I immediately fell in love with it. I loved to draw as a kid but had never tried any form of sculpture before. It was very exciting to me to be able to draw in three dimensions with nothing but a needle and a clump of wool.
I have always loved animals of all kinds and wool is a perfect medium for sculpting them.
Using fine wools such as merino, I can quite realistically depict three dimensional patterns of fur and feathers.