I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin where I graduated from the UW In Civil and Environmental Engineering. During my college years, I took a couple of metallurgical engineering classes, but little did I think that I would actually remember (and use) some of that stuff 25 years later!
A little more than four years ago, as the manager of an engineering office, I was miserable, hated every minute of it, and craved a creative outlet. As a relief from the stress, I signed up for Tom Beard's Friday night beginner jewelry class at Spruill Center for the Arts . Needless to say, I was hooked. (The day I was laid off remains one of the best days of my life!)
This summer I was thrilled to be accepted in the 50th annual Art Fair on the Square in Madison, WI, a fine arts festival attended by close to a quarter million people. The weather was great, the crowd enthusiastic, and the atmosphere full of what I call "typical Madison weirdness." The highlight of the weekend was when my entry into the "Go Green" challenge, "Mother Nature" was purchased by that owner and president of Epic Solutions Software and became part of the company's permanent art collection.
Currently I am associated with Amalgam Arts Atlanta Studio where I teach beginning jewelry fabrication and several other workshops.
What was your first piece?
My first piece after getting my own torch is a labrodorite and star ruby bracelet that I wear frequently. I have yet to put it in a sale!
Who are your jewelry heroes?
George Jenson, the Danish silversmith; Cynthia Eid for always answering my questions about using Argentium silver; and Julia Woodman for her willingness to share her knowledge.
What is your design inspiration?
I have been a fan of Scandinavian design since childhood when my mother had Danish Modern decor in our house. I'm fascinated by the granulation and chains found at archeological sites throughout Sweden, the traditional Solje jewelry of Norway, and on a more modern note, the designs of Estonian jeweler, Jaan Pam.
What is your favoriate part of making jewelry?
As corny as it sounds, I love it when it seems that my hands are being guided by a higher force. There's nothing like the feeling of a piece taking on its own personality.
What is on your bench now?
The flotsam and jetsam aside, my newest project is a sterling silver sauce boat and ladle for my odlest son and his fiance who will be married next summer.
What is your most indispensible tool?
I guess I have to say my half-round #2 full size file. It gets used a lot!