1000 markets interview 3-18-09

This is the interview I did of our beloved market manager of Child's Play market on

John is a great friend and market manager and he can be funny at times, here he is.

When did you first start your craft, and what made you want to try?

I took my first shop class in 1987. It was a combination, half metal shop and half wood shop. I really fell in love working with the wood, though. I still remember the first project I made was a Mahogany initial on an Oak plaque for my mother. The contrast of the two woods was intriguing, and I’ve loved wood working ever since.

What do you love the most about the items you make?
I love that kids can have fun playing with the toys I make. I see my daughter's face light up when I make something for her, and seeing her happy never gets old. I also like that I can give parents a toy that they can be absolutely sure is perfectly safe for their kids to play with.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was accepted into The College of New Jersey (Then Trenton State College) under their Technology Education department to become a shop teacher. Name the process, I learned it. Metal foundry, sheet metal fabrication, plastic injection, plastic vacuum forming, spot welding, arc welding- it was REALLY a lot of fun. But after my Freshman year, I learned two things about myself: First was that woodworking was Still my favorite, and also that it takes a very special person to be a teacher. I didn’t feel at the time that I had that special something, so I switched to Political Science and finished out my BA, just 2 classes shy of being able to declare a Law & Justice minor.

My wife and I met in ‘The History & Philosophy of Corrections’ class and we’ve been married for 11 years this coming June. We have 2 wonderful kids, a 4 year old girl and a boy who just turned 1 last week :)

How about your favorite color?

Without a doubt, blue. Specifically an icy cool blue.

What is something you really want to try making?

I have a dump truck I’ve been working on the plans for that I’m looking forward to making. I also really want to make a toy train. The problem with the train is I have about a half dozen different ways I’d build it, so the dump truck will probably come first unless I can make up my mind on the train.

Are there any other craft fields you dabble in?

Not really. I’d love to be able to but I just don’t seem to have the talent for any other craft. The toys are different. They just seem to come naturally.

What brought you to 1000Markets?

Some of the EtsyNJ team members had mentioned it and I took a look. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but with no fee’s unless you make a sale I figured I had nothing to lose. I’m really glad I did- I love the look and feel of the site here so much!

If you could give 1 piece of advice to somebody just starting in your field, what would it be?

Experiment and be creative! Don’t stop pushing yourself to the limits of what you can do.

You can find more samples of my work on Flickr:


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