I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota but my family moved to Atlanta when I was 2. I worked with my hands at an early age, learning needlework and constantly drawing. At the age of 18, I went to Georgia State University to major in painting. As part of my curriculum I had to take a 3-D class. I chose metalworking over pottery. I went downstairs to study under Richard Mafong and I never went back up!!! Once my hands touched metal, I never went back to painting. I got my bachelor’s degree Fine Arts; Jewelry Design and Silversmithing.
While I was getting my BFA, I worked for three different jewelers in the Atlanta area and started Jewel Creations in my closet. I graduated and moved Jewel Creations Inc. to a location in Buckhead. I became a Graduate Gemologist and became a Fellow of the Gemological Association of Great Britain in the late 80's.
I discovered granulation and chain making while at GSU and this interest continued while I became a professional store owner/ jeweler. I had been interested in granulation since I saw a piece of John Paul Miller’s at a GSU exhibit. It was a fabulous spider made of 18K gold with enamel and granulation. I found out about Jean Stark and took classes with her at Wild Acres in North Carolina.
What was your first piece?
I think that the first piece of jewelry I made it a sun face pendant that I chased in class at GSU. I wear it often!
Who are your jewelry Heroes?
My jewelry heroes are Jean Stark, John Paul Miller, Peter Lacovara, Jasper Gaunt, Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Etruscans. Actually, I have too many to list!
What is your design inspiration?
My design inspiration comes from the natural world, ancient motifs and I like to design clean, elegant jewelry with an emphasis on craftsmanship. Sometimes these designs come to me in my dreams. I have around 1000 books and a small selection of them is about granulation and ancient metalsmithing. I refer to these often! I also love to travel to Europe and study jewelry of other cultures.
What is your favorite part of making jewelry?
I love all parts of making jewelry! Working in metal involves working with earth, air, fire, and water. The experience is very elemental and basic. The tools are also very elemental and basic- almost the same as what was accomplished with 2000 years ago.
What is on your bench now?
I have four granulated birds to finish, three waxes to carve, a platinum chain that needs to be finished and a silver pendant that also needs to be finished.
What is your most indispensable tool?