Member Since: 2008
Media Specialties: Mixed Media; Wood;
State: North Carolina
County: Surry County, NC
Bio: Mentor in woodworking
Jim Shepherd has 35 years of progressive management experience in the design, construction, and maintenance of both public and private facilities in several diverse marketplaces. His specialty is public works. He was trained in both architecture and engineering. Throughout his career, he has been responsible for the programming, design management, and construction management of 75 schools, five courthouses, three hospital projects, and many corporate office headquarters, high-rise hotels, parking garages, and office buildings.
He is a third-generation carpenter who still owns and works with his father’s and grandfather’s tools. In fact, Jim designed and built his first home at the age of 12 under the direction of his father! After over 40 years in commercial construction from Alaska to the Lower 48, Jim returned to his roots in the foothills of North Carolina.
He built a woodshop and equipped it with a full complement of hand and power tools and a large inventory of hardwood lumber. A table saw, drill press, power table sander, jointer, compressor, air nailers, and one of the largest planers in the area allow him to accept commissions for a variety of projects. Jim specializes in unique and difficult types of projects requiring complex design solutions and a high level of carpentry skill. He enjoys working in mixed media, so he can integrate other art forms into his woodworking. Custom doors with stained glass details and cabinets which use blacksmithed, handmade hardware are good examples of this collaborative design process. Furniture, benches, cabinets, wine bars and shelving systems for art and craft fair exhibitions are other good examples of his work. Smaller projects like eclectic bird houses, hoop drums, cat houses, sculptural display systems and custom picture framing keep things interesting and use up the scraps from the bigger furniture projects.
Jim is a past president of the Foothills Arts Council, a member of the Yadkin Valley Craft Guild, and a member of the North Carolina Rural Center’s economic development and strategic planning committee for Surry County.
Jim is actively seeking apprentices with whom to share his knowledge and skills. Some of the areas of instruction would include:
• Shop safety procedures.
• Hand tools, power tools and how to maintain/sharpen them.
• Selecting the types of project the apprentice can complete, with a focus on growing skill sets.
• Measure twice and cut once.
• Model and prototype development of construction details.
• Drafting and reading scale drawings.
• Market analysis of potential projects, including determining price points and cost to produce.
• Basic business plan development.
• Material selection, ease of working the material. and cost/value implications.
• Selecting the proper tools for best production efficiency and project quality.
• Sanding and finishing of projects.
• Photographing finished projects and marketing them.
From drafting house plans for homes in a small southern community; to paintings that depict cutting edge concepts in high energy physics; I have consistently followed two compelling and some would say contradictory fields of interest. For over 45 years, I have dedicated much of my time and energy to the study of Art and Science (particularly high energy physics). My artistic training and work until recently have been conservative and traditional. Now I like to think of my art as founded upon solid technical skills and propelled by big ideas about time and space. Advances in science are now converging with long held spiritual and metaphysical beliefs. The unknown and unfathomable are emerging as our ability to experiment and evaluate increases. Still as we look beyond our existing space time continuum we find that the old math, existing rules and current scientific understandings fall short of our vision’s and hopes. Theories like the big bang, speed limits on light and contradictions between electromagnetism and gravity are controversial and difficult for most of us to understand. My belief is that these concepts can best be understood through visual images and musical harmonics. I hope that my art work will challenge you to look beyond the known and into the future. I believe in Angles and in a Divine Cipher that I can not describe or fully understand. I have traveled across oceans and equators. From North Carolina to Southeast Asia, to every state in the Union including Alaska and Hawaii I have trudged my own road to happy destiny.
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