Growing up I lived in Grants Pass a small town in southern Oregon. My parents were part of the Rogue Gem and Geology Club and were always taking me out into the desert for long periods of time to look for rocks and minerals. I hated this growing up and didn’t understand why we were out there for so long. My mom worked as a jeweler for many years and both my parents would cut and polish the stones they would find out on those long hot desert treks. I had no interest in what my parents did and did not want to grow up to be like them, I had built up a resistance to making jewelry.
When I was 6 years old my parents divorced and my mom usually lived somewhere father away from town up in the mountains. At one point she moved us into a house with no running water or electricity in Sunny Valley, OR. She was always trying to entertain me with making art and creating thing because we had no TV, because of this I have found a deep love making things from scratch. Whether it be sitting down to fabricate a new piece of jewelry to figuring out how to make a functional object out of wood or other materials. I love the puzzle of how can I make this?
I always knew that I wanted to go into a creative field but it wasn’t until I was half way through the Painting & Drawing program at the Academy of Art University that I discovered working with metal. I had found my medium. I found that making jewelry could be so much more than just the type of jewelry my parents were making. Now I want to be out there finding my own stones and cutting them to that perfect shape for the piece I envision. I’m just sorry that it took me so long to discover this love because my mom could have taught me herself and handed down her equipment to me. She sold all her equipment long before I began to have an interest and no longer does that kind of work unfortunately. It is funny to me to be following my parents’ footsteps so closely after being so resistant to the idea.
Growing up in Oregon I had also taken for granted the natural beauty of the state, the Rogue River that flows through Grants Pass and camping up at Applegate Lake. After 5 years in San Francisco I knew I had to be somewhere closer to nature. Being in San Francisco really made me appreciate the moments when I get to go out for a hike and be in nature. No more traffic jams for hours on end or traveling long distances to go somewhere where there were trees and not many people. Now I live a small town on the coast where I don’t have to travel such long distances to be with mother nature.
I feel the same kind of relaxation of being outside with fresh air as I do when I get to sit down and create a new piece of jewelry. When I am making something on my desk I like to make different elements and see how they combine with each other. Lots of what I make is a pure organic flow of creation on occasion I will have an idea that pops into my head and will sketch out, but I usually don’t know what something is going to look like until it is complete. Almost all the metal I use is recycled and is created into its own piece of jewelry. Even the tiniest pieces get turned smaller elements of design for larger pieces. I love to incorporate texture to my pieces. So much of what I do uses reticulated silver which is a great way to have the metal share with me what it wants to become.