I always enjoyed making things with wood as a hobby, and eventually made several pieces of furniture for use around the house. In 1990 I purchased a used lathe and a set of chisels at an auction, and was immediately captivated by the possibility of making useful or interesting objects from materials as mundane as a piece of firewood. Flat boards no longer seemed interesting. Over the subsequent years my woodturning hobby developed as I spent time scavenging logs, playing on the lathe, meeting up with woodturners more experienced than I and attending workshops where professionals demonstrated techniques. Since I retired from my 'real job' in 2005 and moved from Pennsylvania to Connecticut, I have devoted more time to improving what I can of my skills in the woodturning craft.
My academic training is in organic chemistry. I earned a B.A. at DePauw University in Indiana, a Ph.D. at Stanford and did postdoctoral research at Yale. I spent most of my career in pharmaceutical research.