I painted long before I ever attempted to model. (Which reminds me I'd like to explain that any use of the word "sculpture" here is not exactly accurate. The prototypes usually start as clay models or plaster carvings. Only rarely, on larger pieces have I ever used a chisel.) My first modelling came about as a result of my job at the time as a moldmaker for a Virginia architectural precast concrete company. The job was a restoration and addition to the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. The year was 1981. There were large Grecian Urns and faces of Muses in the spandrel panels. The Muse face was my first clay model done with screened riverbed clay (I didn't even know where to buy clay then!) and my first use of molding rubber compounds.
A few years later I started studying engineering for the math and mechanics that would help with my structural connection designs as I'd also started moving into drafting and structural design. I received my degree as a civil engineer with a heavy emphasis on reinforced concrete structural analysis in 1987. I've since spent my life in this field, from which the acquired knowledge proved to lend itself well to the other topics covered here. In a sense, it was an accident, my father also having been in this field all his life, as was his father, which takes cast stone all the way back to its roots in the 1870s. And so we'll see where this goes.