As far back as I can remember I have always been interested in wildlife and natural history. I collected and labeled butterflies in grade school then during my high school years, I banded birds, and flew falcons for hunting purposes.
I began my college years studying fine arts at the University of Wisconsin – White Water where I painted watercolors of many bird species. t took a jewelry course with Marsha Lewis, teaching there at the time, to make bells for my falcon’s legs. From that point on I was immediately drawn to the techniques of jewelry making and interpreting the natural world using this medium. lnterestingly, the two techniques I least enjoyed were casting and vitreous enameling because I thought these processes were very basic and boring.
I have never lost my interest in nature and continue to find unending inspiration for compositions I would like to create. I seek out the unusual to produce pieces from interesting subjects that one might consider repulsive, transforming it to an object of desire.
I am driven to create challenging pieces representing my mental snapshots of nature that appeal to me. I enjoy problem solving and will work to test and develop a method, process or tool that enables me to represent what I see. I would use any technique, process, or material that would allow me to represent what I would like to express. ln my enameling work I prefer to use my own gold alloy and enameling techniques.
My advice for someone starting out as a metal artist is to become proficient with your skill set, your work is an expression of who you are and what you create. Use life experiences, positive or negative, and also apply this to your work for inspiration. Persevere, never stop experimentation, taking risks, or allowing judgmental voices to bring you down, including your own.