finished chopsticks

My Bio...I graduated high school in 1971; I got my first woodworking award my senior year in wood shop "Craftsman of the Year" award. That was the first year it was presented. I had applied to work in a furniture shop that made custom work as well as commercial woodwork, and started Monday after graduation. I worked there about nine years, working nearly every job from rough mill to the company president's assistant. I received several design patents, the first one for a knock-down restaurant booth that saved trucking space and was a vast improvement in what they previously offered. I received several more patents for compound angle gauges, and designed and built a wall mounted drill press that could drill repeatable compound-angle holes, these ideas were put into production. When I started work there, the output of chairs was under ten a day; when I left, it was over 300. I worked for myself building chairs and cabinets for clients for several years, including the Beekman Arms Inn, the oldest inn in America. Working too many 18 hour days, I began working with my brother in the automotive business, but continued my woodworking as a sideline. Sometime around 1990 I decided my turning needed some improvement, so I began to direct all my attention there, and I haven't looked back since. I teach at several schools, but primarily Brookfield Craft Center in CT, and Peter's Valley in PA. I have shown my work in several galleries, including Del Mano Gallery in California for over 10 years until its demise; many of my pieces have been sold all over the globe, and I have won many awards, including five Niche or Niche Finalist awards. As a bit of an inventor, I market two of my tools, the "Gage't" bowl caliper, and the "V-Skew", both meeting with good success. My shop is filled with several other shop-fabricated tools which I use on a regular basis.

- Keith Tompkins

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