Robert Niclas’ passion for artisan woodworking started when he was quite young. He was inspired by many artists and craftsmen including his grandmother who taught piano and created sculptures. His father was also an artist and photographer. Due to his father being employed with an oil company his family moved often, exposing Robert to a great variety of art forms. Moving often took him to the Middle East, Europe, and around the Western States. After school he was in the Navy where he traveled around the Far East. Wherever he was, he enjoyed looking at the woodworking that others created.
Robert met his wife who is from New Zealand while they were both living in Sweden. After he and his wife were married they moved to New Zealand where Robert did an apprenticeship in furniture making. He worked in all fields of wood work, building and renovating houses, making furniture, wood carving and boat building. Their first four children were born in New Zealand and the last two here in the States.
For the past 30 years Robert has been working on luxury yachts, making custom designed interiors and furniture, and this experience transfers to many of the pieces he makes in his own shop. Robert derives great joy from creating canoes, kayaks and rowboats as well. His carvings reflect what he sees and often he will get a vision of a completed carving when he least expects it. Robert has learned to record his inspirations of art in a journal until he finds the perfect piece of wood.
Years ago, our family went to a violin Christmas concert. The violinist was Geoffrey Castle, who plays a 6 string electric violin originally made by Tucker Barrett. During the concert our youngest daughter asked me if I would make her a 6 string electric violin just like Geoffrey Castle was playing. I had to do a lot of research and during that time, I called Tucker Barrett and asked him if I could copy his violin. He told me he gleaned things from others as he put it, and he was happy to let me copy his violin, as he no longer makes them. Geoffrey Castle let me look at his violin several times, and in the end the 6 string electric violin was completed for our youngest daughter, and also one for our daughter in law.