Where did you learn how to make handmade supplies?
I started picking up the trade magazines (Belle Armoire Jewelry, Stringing Magazine, Step-By-Step Wire Jewelry to name a few) and books (Silver Wire Fusing by Liz Jones and Semiprecious Salvage by Stephanie Lee were two books that were very influential) and became fascinated by artists who made their own components. I realized that I could dictate the overall tone of a piece of jewelry with my handmade components instead of having to rely on what I could find in the stores or online. I was also captivated by the organic, antique look of etched metals and found objects included in pieces, and realized that there really are no rules to follow when creating. That thought alone set me free to create whatever I wanted to create, and led me to making my own findings.
What is your favorite medium to work with and why?
I don’t really have a favorite medium, as my preferences will usually change with the seasons in my life. I could work with glass all day, fusing it or soldering it – it doesn’t matter - as I love the depth and character it adds to any kind of artwork.
Working with metals - particularly copper – is very rewarding as well as metals are so versatile. I can create very formal-looking jewelry or very organic, beat-up looking jewelry, and everything in between.
What method(s) do you use?
I generally don’t methodically plan out a piece of jewelry ahead of time. A design idea usually crashes into my head and I have to start putting it together before I can see the finished piece. Sometimes it comes out like the idea in my head, and sometimes not, and that’s just fine with me. I am definitely a tactile learner and creator.
What would you call your style?
As with the mediums I work in, my style tends to change with the seasons in my life. In general, I would say that I have more of an organic feel to my pieces: imperfect lines and old, antiqued metals figure prominently.
Asymmetry is very pleasing to my eye, which makes balance and continuity key factors in my jewelry designs as well. I like to create designs that draw the eye through the piece using color and texture.
How has your work developed throughout the years?
More than anything, as I learn new techniques, I am able to incorporate more depth into each piece I make. I have grown less concerned with pleasing other people with my artwork, and have learned to rely on my instincts more and more. This has led to a more confident, finished quality to my pieces.
9. Did you ever feel like giving up?
No – I can’t imagine not being an artist. It is so much more that something I do; it is absolutely who I am.
10. What advice do you have for aspiring jewelry artists?
Find out what holds your artistic interest and don’t be concerned what other people will think about it. Being an artist is all about experiencing life and assimilating that experience into your artwork. Each piece you create is a manifestation of a small slice – a few footsteps along the path of your journey. Never underestimate the value of your own story, and don’t ever be afraid to share it with others.
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English, and met my husband of 19 years in my senior year. We've lived all over the country, and have settled here in Arizona with our teenage son and our dog. We are very invested in our local community through coaching youth lacrosse, youth mentoring through our church, and being a foster family.