When I was a kid, I used to go to the barber shop with my dad every Friday night, and the barber shop had an encased model of a schooner. The graceful lines of the hull and the intricate rigging captured my attention. In grade school, IĀ assembled a plastic model of the British clipper ship, Cutty-Sark. But I didn’t build my first wooden model ship until later in life with the H.M.S. Beagle.

I am a professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Being a teacher and scholar is mentally fulfilling, but it doesn’t have the hands-on allure of creating a work of art.

Perhaps I am channeling my ancestors: my carpenter great-grandfather, my machinist grandfather, and my design-engineer father.

Greg Davis