I create unique artisan jewelry using gemstones, new and recycled beads, vintage beads and components, seed beads, found objects, silver and occasionally, gold. I use metalsmithing, stringing, seed beading, weaving, macrame and pearl knotting techniques, sometimes alone and sometimes in combination. Each piece is an individual creation, which will not be replicated. In other words, ONE-OF-A-KIND.
Materials and components come from a variety of places. I go to a lot of yard sales and thrift stores. Found objects are found anywhere and everywhere. For example the bridge of a violin and once a very large tooth found in the Mojave desert. I like the idea that the materials I’m using are infused with a history and energy collected from previous configurations, and situations. I find meaning in continuing their lives and allowing them to change and grow into something new. The journey I take through the making of a piece is metaphorical to me. When unexpected difficulties arise along the way I strive to figure my way through with patience and acceptance. For instance, when a bead breaks as I’m trying to pass through it, I realize that I was forcing it to do something it didn’t want to do. Or when I’ve finished a piece only to realize that something has been strung in the wrong place, I have to accept that I need to go back. Sometimes a design strays from my original intention. I strive for the ability to listen so that I can hear what the piece is telling me to do.
Inspiration comes from many places as well. Often it comes from a period in history or a particular culture. I am fascinated by jewelry used for ritualistic purposes. A lot of times inspiration comes from the components themselves. As I look at a bead or component, designs come to mind. Or when I find pieces that interact perfectly with one another, designs begin to form. That is always exciting. I am inspired by the smallness of the beads because I find it so amazing that so much beauty can be found in the smallest of things. All the time I am inspired by the work of other artists, for their courage to create helps me to do the same.
Adornment is a means to the very important and fundamental human need of self-expression. I am happy to know I may be helping someone to feel the confidence and joy that comes from connecting to one’s true self in this way.