"I couldn't afford oil paints, so I found something else I could work in," Gregor explained. "I found a piece of old antler and a dremel, and started carving."
Gregor explained that working with natural materials can be very challenging because "you have to create a relationship with the material itself. You have to understand it has its own characteristics and you can't force it."
People often have a misconception that the natural materials he uses are elephant tusks but they aren't, Gregor said. He works with warthog tusks and hippo tusks sourced from Department of Fish and Wildlife regulated culling programs.
Gregor said he's a big advocate for education in his craft because "it's rare anyone teaches this stuff." He uses a hands-on approach to teach his students about the basic techniques of carving and the materials.
"I try to nurture their own personal techniques and try to bring out everyone's individuality," Gregor said.
Brewster said she appreciated the instant gratification she got from the class.
"You can see your creation as it's happening. I'm impressed with what I've been able to do," Brewster said. "His instruction makes it seem easy. Within 20 minutes, he had us working and was showing us the basics of the tools. It's definitely hands-on learning."