A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
There is nothing more amazing to me than stones- that our planet creates these wonderful works of art. I love creating metal frameworks for my stones, and the need to create is something I have always craved and satisfied. I especially love opals- I love their other worldliness, and love the contrast between them and the earthiness of metal.
How did you get into jewelry design?
To be perfectly honest, when I was home with my young children, I used to watch the Carol Duvall show on HGTV and learned how to use a crimp bead to end a strand of beads. I was hooked. I then looked to more challenges and took up metalsmithing as well as lapidary work. I participated in craft shows to get out of the house once in a while, and the ‘hobby' fed my soul and I've never looked back.
What makes your collection unique?
I think my style is very distinctive & structured. I use ancient techniques such as granulation, keum boo and chasing/repousee, but I put a modern twist on them.
What are your inspirations?
I am inspired by ancient work, clean modern work, and the work of artists working today who are masters in their field- true artists who have mastered technique AND design.
How are you making a difference in your life?
When I was in architecture school, I enjoyed the fellowship that the studio environment offered. Working alone in my studio left me feeling alone and un-supported, so 8 years ago I started a group of local female metalsmiths called the Ladysmiths. (theladysmiths.blogspot.com) We get together monthly to talk shop, support each other, and do workshops. It has been ENORMOUSLY rewarding. We've done group shows, taught each other, and generally used each other for criticism, feedback, and support. Next year we are starting a business development group.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
Running a monthly group requires commitment, organization, and loyalty. I have been lauded by my peers for how much I can accomplish in a day, which feels nice! I am also a pretty good teacher- I taught for 2 years at a local art center, have written several magazine articles about various techniques, and have even taught the Ladysmiths a new technique or two.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business?
My shyness at approaching stores/galleries has been a stumbling block. I have been experimenting with small-batch casting in order to increase my inventory so I can market my work to the wholesale market. Now I just need to get my nerve up!