Born and raised in central PA, I became fascinated by woodworking at a very young age and began building furniture for around the house as early as junior high school.
I initially began by largely making custom-made pieces of furniture. In 1993, I decided to turn my long time passion into my full-time job, by founding Strouse Woodworking. Late that same year I was asked to make a set of Shaker-style boxes. I had never tried making one before, but I set off on the task. Quickly becoming enthralled by the entire process of making Shaker boxes, from getting the wood, to cutting it, and then to making the actual boxes. Shaker boxes soon became the majority of my work, but I always enjoy making custom furniture when I have time for larger projects.
I entered my first arts festival in 1994, with the People's Choice Festival in Boalsburg, PA. After a couple of years, I had my work in a number of galleries and began participating in art shows throughout Pennsylvania, as well as a few in Virginia and Maryland. In 1996 I became a juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen.
Personal Life and Other Hobbies
We have three children: T.J. (32), Erica (30), and Takara (17). Throughout the years, they have all three played a large role in my business, from spending long hours sanding in the shop to traveling with me to arts festivals all around Pennsylvania. T.J. is a Penn State graduate,and also has a Masters degree in Middle East Studies from George Washington University. He is now living in Oslo, Norway, and working as a Middle East advisor for a Norwegian based oil company. Erica is also a Penn State graduate, and recently graduated with her Masters degree in Social Work at The University of Texas-San Antonio. She is now married, and currently living in Tennessee where her husband Justin Lounder is in medical school. She also has become a new mother and blessed us with our first grandchild, Max. Takara is a senior at the Bellefonte High School, but is already getting excited about moving on to college. But for now she is my sole help for sanding and attending shows.
To get away from the woodworking and still have an opportunity to work with my hands, I have found an interest over the past several years in vintage motorcycles.
Steve, Melissa, Takara, TJ, Erica and Max, on a great visit to the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.
Finally Finished (sort of) I bought this 1975 Goldwing in December 2009, and spent each winter tinkering with restoring parts of the bike. I enjoy working on the bike, but can't wait for spring riding season to come each year.