is Virginia Petty, but thankfully, most people have shortened that to Gin.
Though art and craft have played a major role throughout most of my life, there
is no formal art training in my background.
I began carving at the age of six when my father taught me to sharpen a knife.
Over the years, my association with artisans from other fields has inspired me
to to explore basketry, papermaking and bookbinding, as well.
For nearly 25 years, I earned a living carving as “The Whistlin’ Whittler,” but
in 1994, a major case of burn out closed the door on that workshop permanently.
Now, without the pressure of producing for a market, there is time to play and
enjoy, and freedom to create to please myself.
No matter the field, my interest has always been more in process than finished
product. The “why” and “how” are far more fascinating to me than the finished
“what.” Sometimes art comes out of this process; sometimes it doesn’t.
This site exists to share the pleasures of that creativity and discovery. With
one exception, A Papermaker's Season, nothing on
this Website is for sale. Here you'll find my joy in the successes, my amusement
and occasional frustration at some of the failures. I hope you enjoy and make
use of the site.
Totally irrelevant information - I like fried green tomatoes, smart stoplights,
breadmaking and early morning hours. I do not like TV, spiders, popup ads and
cooked turnips. Beyond the field of crafts, I can cure county hams, dress out
deer, castrate pigs, fool with websites and fly kites. I have trouble balancing
my checkbook. My favorite book is usually whatever I'm reading at the moment. My
favorite sound is the twanging of a banjo in a fast paced bluegrass song. My
favorite animal is a cat. My favorite person is my husband. I have a solid sense
of humor, and it is almost always directed back toward me and my latest
My husband, Jim Tomlinson, and I live
in Berea, Kentucky, home of some of the finest artisans in the country. If
you're ever in Kentucky, please do take time to visit the town, meet these
people, see what they do and why they do it. Their work is a true inspiration.