The Trillium Dell Team
The Trillium Dell Timberworks crew consists of a group of timber frame craftspeople, all bringing a variety of heavy timber, carpentry, engineering, forestry and design experience to offer our customers and their projects. Our office staff provides day to day project management and support for our crews.
Part of an international timber framing community, Trillium Dell Timberworks is a member of the Timber Frame Business Council and frequently participates in Timber Framer’s Guild projects, rendezvous, and conferences.
"I began Trillium Dell Timberworks in the fall of 1996 after graduating from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Forestry/Wood Science, and completing 6 years in the USMC reserve engineer unit in Peoria, IL. I am a native of Western Illinois, and live on a small farm with my family in Knox County just outside of Galesburg, IL, the home of poet Carl Sandburg.
From the beginning resource utilization and building longevity have been the core belief of what we do here at Trillium Dell. It has been my privilege since then to work with some of the finest people I know on some amazing projects around the nation, and world. Whether we are working on a simple frame or a complex commercial project, it's my passion and the shared passion of those that work at Trillium Dell that we create the finest new and restored timber frames."
Rick is a master carpenter, metalworker, mechanic, timber structural expert, educator, writer, historian, and farmer. He has a strong commitment to the preservation and continuation of our built and natural heritage.
One of only 30 registered Journeyworkers in North America; Rick has intensively studied the methods and tooling used by Europeans who settled the Midwest from the 1600s through the 1800s. These studies have led him to travel extensively throughout the US and Europe over the last two decades, and offered the opportunity to work and learn with some of the greatest master builders, craftspeople, and building historians in both continents. His interest in history, mastery of traditional tooling and techniques, and decades of experience as a builder allow him a unique perspective that bridges many disciplines.
Instilled with a lifelong passion for building, Rick has been a student of the trades since his early teens. He received a BS in Forest Science from the University of Illinois, and served in the USMCR as a combat engineer- studying engineering and building science for six years. Originally interested in timber framing after observing the processing and waste of local timber, Rick reflected on its prior use, both in local agriculture and the economy, and conceived a way to recapture the loss. Rick began his business in 1996, with little more than a saw and a pick-up truck. Eighteen years later, Trillium Dell is an internationally renowned company that boasts one of the most versatile, best-equipped shops in the country.
Rick regularly writes for trade journals, speaks locally and internationally, leads workshops and timber framing events - consults and teaches timber framing and restoration methods. He is an active member, and former president, of the Timber Framers Guild, and an integral part of the formation of the Journeyworker/Apprenticeship Program- the first federally recognized professional Timberframing training program. He now supports the program as a teacher, facilitator, and committee member.
“A proud native of Illinois- I grew up in a small village in the Chain-of-Lakes Region of North Eastern Illinois- In 2002, I began working as a carpenter in new construction and restoration for another amazing company, New Prairie Construction. With their support, over 10 years I became trained as a plasterer as well- specializing in in lime and clay plasters, traditional three coat haired plasters, and the restoration of masonry using lime mortars.
I met the Trillium Dell crew on a restoration project in 2010- and have been connected with this amazing and dedicated family ever since. I wear a many hats, like most folks around here, and LOVE it.”
Nic often does design work for our projects, helps out with project management, maintenance, carpentry, raisings, plastering, restorations, event/workshop coordination, cooking and anything else that needs to be done. She’s very proud to be an apprentice in the TFG’s apprenticeship program. Nic enjoys “working on the Trillium Dell Farm” with Rick, Ari, Liam and Ele- and raises pastured pork, grass fed lamb, and a menagerie of poultry for free range eggs. Nicole has a BS degree in Fine Art & Graphic Design. She is a painter, sculptor, and ceramicist when she has time.
I've been with TDTW since January of 2014. I am a project manager for TDTW and handle bidding and estimating. I was part of the first graduating class of the American College of the Building Arts, with a Bachelors of Applied Science with a major in Timber Framing. I am an active member of the Timber Framers Guild and TEH TFG journey worker. 1 of 17 active journeywork’s. I am active in the Timber Framers Business Council and the Projects Committee with the Timber Framers Guild. When not at work I am spending time with my family (wife and 3 kids) and working on restoring our old victorian home in Toulon.
Evan came to Trillium Dell in March of 2015 and runs the Wood-Mizer LT50 custom sawmill here, turning locally cut logs into usable timbers for our custom building projects. In his last year, Evan completed his Journeyman Carpenters training and joined the Local #58 Carpenters Union. He is continuing his professional development through the Timber Framers Guild Apprentice Training Program for his Journeyman Timber Framer certification. Evan also is our black smith and metal worker whenever special hardware or brackets are needed. Having grown up on a cash grain farm in Alexis, his Midwest values and work ethic have been a great fit here at Trillium Dell! Evan's background is in wildlife habitat & management and regularly enjoys the outdoor sports of fishing and hunting.
Simon entered the world of timber framing in Switzerland back in 1989. He chose this career with a formal apprenticeship and became a “Zimmermann”. Inspired by older structures and the history they behold, surely he could only get his fix in the old world. But see, Simon does not really follow a natural flow. Life circumstances (a girl) brought him over to the USA on a regular basis and in 1996 he chose to stay for good. Before the jump across the pond, Simon gathered experience in various countries and in different languages, broadening his perspective and preparing him for carpentry work in the US. Hello fractions! Goodbye Metric! And he fully admits that working with toothpicks on a framing crew was less than fulfilling. In a roundabout way (Boulder – Port Townsend – Buffalo – Boulder) he stumbled on the Timber Framers Guild and the rest unfolded beautifully.
Simon worked as an Instructor at a High School in Texas where he was introduced to Rick Collins during a Guild workshop at Simon’s workplace. That was back in 2000. Simon and Rick worked on various projects on and off. One standout cooperation was Simon’s Engineering internship at Trillium Dell from 2005-06. After graduating from Engineering school in Biel, Switzerland, Simon took a leave of absence from the trade and gathered experience in the wood processing world. He built and operated a wood pellet manufacturing plant up to the day it went up in smoke, literally. He somehow found his way back and feels like a fish in water, doing what inspires him most at Trillium Dell.
Simon is most inspired by the barn restoration movement and Trillium Dell’s role in the revival of the often historical structures. Hence, he lives in a barn himself…
If not working on TF projects, Simon can be seen chasing mountain goats in Durango, CO or dancing with the green mountain fairies in Vermont.