Frequently Asked Questions...
Q: How do I order one of your Ships In Bottles, or some other bottle project?
A: You can call or email me, and we'll have a conversation about what it is you want, the estimated price and time of delivery, and the form of payment. While I'm working on your project I'll send you pictures so you can see its progress and make any changes. You'll get one final chance to make any changes just before I put it into the bottle. Once it's in the bottle, it's DONE.
Q: Where are your Ships In Bottles made?
A: I carefully handcraft all of the Ships In Bottles and other custom bottle projects here in Ogunquit, Maine. My passion for nautical things may have come from my ancestors who came over from England and helped settle nearby Perkins Cove in the 1600s.
Q: Do you sign your work?
A: Everything I do is signed and dated on the underside, except for the Christmas Ship Ornaments. There's no place for me to write my name on them.
Q: Can you mail your Ships In Bottles?
A: Yes. I frequently have to turn them, shake them, and bang them around while I'm working on them, so they're quite "solid". I pack them extremely well, and of course I always insure them. Unless they're dropped on a tile or concrete floor, they're very durable!
Q: Are there any rules for making a Ship In A Bottle?
A: There are only two rules: 1. No fair breaking or cutting the bottle to get the ship inside. 2. No fair using pickle or mayonnaise jars...
Q: How do you get the ship into the bottle?
A: Very well, I think.
Q: Do you make them from kits?
A: No. Every piece is cut, shaped, and painted by hand and then assembled by me.
Q: What makes your Ships In Bottles different from the cheaper souvenir ones?
A: My Ships In Bottles are carefully designed and handcrafted after considerable research on how the ship actually looked, and my ships are based on ship plans, photos (where applicable), historical paintings, etc. In other words, the ship (or lighthouse, or house, etc.) is recognizable to people who are familiar with it. My Ships In Bottles are not only more accurately made, but they are also usually more detailed. For example, when I make the U.S.S. Constitution ("Old Ironsides"), it's got twenty-two cannon on its deck. None of the imported Ships In Bottles I've seen of the same ship have any cannon at all.
Q: Is your studio open to the public?
A: Unfortunately, no. Assembling things inside of bottles is very intense work and requires a great deal of patience, and many times things do not go particularly well in "bottle land", as my wife will attest! As much as I'd love to have visitors, this kind of work doesn't lend itself to distractions.
Q: Do you do public demonstrations?
A: Yes. Groups can have me as a guest speaker. I bring samples of my work, and as part of the program I also do a demonstration. Contact me for more information.
Q: Where can I buy your work?
A: Custom bottle projects need to be ordered directly from me. See my contact information. Other projects that are completed and ready to mail are available on a companion website. At the moment, those are sold out. I will post the link here when they become available again. Some of my work will also be available at a few gift shops this summer. I will post a list of the shops as soon as I complete deliveries, or you can have me call or email you.