You need not look far when looking to nature for beauty.
As a studio painter I focused on layering images, much as your thoughts and perceptions are layered. I worked from spontaneous associations to form imagery and abstraction on canvas, never questioning what arrived, it felt like getting to know ones self. The images were often derived from natural form as I was always inspired by the infinite variety of colors and shapes found in the woodlands surrounding my home.
My interest in fashion lead to a very separate body of work at the time as I “fashioned” garments, often pieced together and born of a love of craft, working with hand and eye to create an extension of some inner persona slipping onto the exterior. The segway into jewelry was slow, and pieces were developed over many years.
At first there was the bark, with very individual markings and lichens, striking as any gemstone. It was asking to be worn. My feelings on jewelry at the time were tainted with a feeling of giddy frivolity. I was steeped in the important world of “ART” with blinders on yet as to the importance of fine craft, yet it was so appealing to create small works of art to be worn. In the early works the bark often was painted or stitched using the skills I had honed with other mediums.
My jewelry really began with the choice of materials, the very same materials in use for my jewelry today. Using these non-traditional salvaged materials, birchbark and copper scrapped from car radiators, I play with our idea of what is “precious”. The textures and striking contrast of the natural materials formed the rich visual language of my new palate, yet harkened back to compositions and shapes used in my painting. The techniques I use now were developed as I gained familiarity with these non-traditional materials.
The more I designed and began to sell the work, it was in the responses from others that I saw resonance happening. It is with this feedback and support that I continued along this new path.
Jewelry/fashion is an extension of deep urges to share a sense of self. My understanding of jewelry design grew tremendously with the process of creation. My vocabulary in the medium continues to expand with my newest works. I might begin designing with a shape or color in mind; but free association and allowing the process to unfold is what is still inspiring to me. Further refinement comes in removing unnecessary complexity to reveal the serenity and strength.
With each years collection I remain in awe of the creative process and excited to see what it will reveal next!