Thank you for the visit. I appreciate your interest.
The beauty of cedar shingles has inspired creative expression for many centuries. I joined the party around 1975, and it's providing a wonderful opportunity to fulfill two of my passions at the same time, travel and imaginative work.
My first intimate experience with cedar shingles was in the mid-70's when a summer hail storm (golf ball+size) roared through Helena, Montana, and destroyed every roof and unprotected car in a valley of 50,000 people. For the next two years the roofing activity was so intense the state of Montana was depleted of metal scaffolding.
Our crew worked on the cedar roofing that covered Helena's ubiquitous Victorian mansions. We erected scaffolding out of 2x4 and 2x6 pine and fir with 2x12 for planks, some as high as 40' to the turrets. Through two Montana winters the first hours of most days were spent clearing snow and ice off the roof, ladder jacks and scaffold.
A few years later I used several shingle patterns (diamonds, ovals...) on the front of our first house, and a couple years after that shingled the street front gable of a second house, a turn of the century two-story brick home.
Fast forward 25 years (15 of those in Florida as a manager in the IT industry, something germinated in 1983 when our little Montana construction company computerized with a Mac 128) to 2008 when I semi-retired to pursue entrepreneurial interest and follow through on a long-term nagging itch to do something with my hands. Seven years later Cedar Expressions emerged from a 2 month effort to help my daughter and her husband remodeled the 80 year old, chronically run down, Grammy's restaurant. Through the usual cycles of blood, sweat, tears, patience and fortitude associated with large construction projects, in eight months they transformed it into the world famous, Cedar Mountain Cafe. The cafe is located in rural North Carolina, near the SC border, on the main road between Brevard NC and Greenville SC.
I'm indebted to Lucia and Ilir for getting me started with the opportunity to design and execute "Arbol De Suenos" on the 30 foot wall fronting that highway. The day the shelter in front of the wall was removed to reveal the tree for the first time, excitement and emotions were high. Many passing cars pulled over, honked, yelled, waved all the above. The most unanticipated and encouraging remark from the group gathered that afternoon came from a long time resident when he proclaimed, "Lucia, you just raised the property values on this whole mountain". The wall quickly became something of a tourist attraction and 18 months later people stop daily to take photos. That can't be a bad thing for a roadside cafe.
One interesting footnote for the Tree of Dreams, it's likely the only cedar tree left on Cedar Mountain. All the cedar on the mountain was logged out by the turn of the century. There are rumors of a couple cedar survivors in the local forest, but no one seems to be talking about where they might be.
I have four named cedar murals, (Arbol De Suenos, Intrepid Companion, Casita De Issa, Fibonacci Confluence) and a couple of other projects in the works. My business card declares, "Have Tools, Will Travel", and I'll work anywhere in North American, and beyond if the project feels right. The last project is a framed piece (photos coming soon), suitable for indoors but constructed to weather the elements if needed.
The last three projects feature Eastern White Cedar, both for the durability and flexibility of the wood, and sustainability advantages over Western Red.
If something here sparks your imagination, please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss a cedar expression of your own be it a decorative wall, mural, sign or signage wall, framed piece for indoor or out, restoration work, or, my favorite, a roadside attraction.
Scheduling now two projects for 2016 and more in 2017.
Life is what's coming....Kent