Since I was threading yarn through pasta I have been making jewelry. My mom, Annie, is an artist too and was always doing art projects in the house while I was growing up. My mom collects ethnic jewelry and eclectic art. She sews wild (but elegant) clothing and knits stop-you-on-the-street sweaters. From her, I’ve inherited a love of beads and fibers as well as the desire to create unique wearables by hand.
In college, I studied metalsmithing and painting. I loved the engineering process of the metal work and colors of the painting. As a bead-collector, I was tempted to try and make my own glass beads. Lampworking is an ancient glass-working technique whereby one winds glass rods around a steel mandrel over flame to build layers of color. There it was, the amalgamation of color and texture I craved.
I taught myself a variety of traditional stringing and knotting techniques and developed a few of my own. The “Spiny Knotting” technique I developed allows more beads and small treasures to be bound into a single piece, so each one of the “ingredients” adds a distinct energy that works to complement all the others. Though these collections take the form s of jewelry pieces, I think of myself as a creator of “talismanic objects”…or maybe just “revolving wearble vignettes”.
I have always thought that an artists’ work helps to show people how they can see things differently. When each of us creates art, we imbue our work with a distinctive blend of our own experiences and perspectives. My own combination of experiences helps to shape my work. My experience with color is from handling textiles, studying art history and from spending time in my garden. My excitement about texture comes from admiring the lush world on the bottom of the ocean and the entire plant kingdom.
There are two things I love about my job--combining colors and textures, and teaching. Nothing brings me more joy than coaching students to make things they had never envisioned, but that come from inside them. The exchange of excitement gives me a true connection to other people. The power of creating something joyful from inanimate materials is a thrilling experience. I just can’t get enough of it. Other things that make me happy are my garden and acting silly with my friends and family..