I have loved living for the last two decades in NYC but have always had a dream to live in the country again one day as I did as a kid. Over the last several years I started dividing my time between New York and Montana, where my parents spent the summers. I bought some property and I set out for my goal by starting to build a barn/studio in NW Montana the spring of 2006 not knowing WHAT I was getting into. I thought I’d be done in a year, Ha! First of all I forgot about the bridge needed over the creek just to get to my property – which took over two months alone to build. I did the required plans for a permit for the bridge on Rhino, the 3D CAD program I use, and sent them to the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service). I remember they were impressed – this is a place where permits are submitted (if at all) as nearly illegible sketches on scrap paper.
After a few years of near constant work (well springs/summers/falls; the winters get down to -20 below so the project comes to a halt under the snow), I finally came to the realization that it is most likely a lifelong ongoing project, at least the way I went/am going about it: without a contractor and having done most of the work with just two people, me right alongside with the helper I had. Now that the main structure is up, I do the work myself and just get help here or there when need be. Much of my time (and money) goes into it. I guess I like to complain sometimes about all the endless hard labor, but I wouldn’t keep at it after five years and counting if I didn’t love it in a strange way. It’s extremely challenging and very rewarding. My friends and family think I’m crazy, with story after story they say I should make a reality show out of it. I have pondered that but think I missed the boat on that one, all the real Montana drama is over (I hope).
Along with all my calluses, splinters, cuts and bruises, I’ve learned a lot; I know how to use every tool/power tool in the book pretty much. Just in saws alone I have a skil saw, sawzall, table saw, jig saw, radial saw, chain saw, hand saw, and hack saw. I own and operate my own excavator. I figured it was cheaper to buy/resell one than renting one over what I originally thought would be several months. But it ends up I’ve used it consistently over the years and now I love that big ol’ faded orange thing and can’t part with it. People have NO idea how versatile and convenient an excavator is to have around….and it is loads of fun on top of it. I have worked a dozer, skidder, skidster, dump truck, etc. When the excavator breaks down (keeping heavy machinery up is a constant given) I’ve learned how to assess what’s wrong and can go get the necessary part and put it back together myself…usually. I’ve learned to master my chain saw and split wood (or freeze).
I have to admit, I have yet to spend a winter in Montana. I wimp out and escape to Florida (I grew up there) in a home I purchased on the west coast in 2009. A 1950’s home that had some renovations done but still needed some TLC. I moved in early December of 2009 and started off within days by tearing down some walls and the old kitchen and putting in a new one with the help of a friend over the course of a month (some people never learn). Somehow I still managed to have nine house guests camped out for the Christmas holidays that year amongst the chaos.
Within my building project in Montana, my studio (which lies next to the bunny room and the chicken coop and across from the horse stalls)
will finally be ready this coming summer to get to my design projects. Though my background is in very high-end jewelry, where I mostly designed for
platinum, gold, and precious stones, I plan to use wood and other objects from nature (the endless supply from my property alone is inspiration), non-precious metals and unique stones, etc. I also plan to design objects other than jewelry which will be posted on the ‘Trumbull Creek Creations’ page. Where over many years I have spent the majority of my professional time teaching and designing for clients, which I still enjoy, I am excited with my decision to finally dedicate more time to my own creations which I will be found on the pages of this website.
I still keep my place in NYC and come to teach and work with clients as need be. I have the good fortune of teaching and working out of my home studios from wherever I am. Todays’ incredible, daunting, and ever changing technology makes it possible; I am in constant amazement.
It’s 11 a.m. on 11/11/11 and life is good…. A bit crazy, but good !!