I have a small studio in North Carolina where I create one-of-a-kind jewelry and production work. I make custom pieces for clients incorporating their stones, metal, and personal imagery and show my work in galleries.
I have always loved making things and thinking about art. I studied Art History at the University of Georgia in Athens. While there, I took a jewelry course with Gary Noffke and was hooked. After college, my metals education continued at Arrowmont and Penland School of Crafts. I moved to Penland in 1997 to be the metals studio coordinator, and I am still here! I now work part-time at Penland as Manager of Community Collaboration, which provides perfect balance to my studio days. I love making jewelry and continue to find magic in converting wax to metal. When I began to make my living in jewelry, I started to pay closer attention to material sources and didn't like what I found. I looked for ways to continue working while feeling good about the process and materials, and it has been quite a journey. I'm glad to be a tiny part of the incredible work that Ethical Metalsmith is doing.
I hope that my work conveys a sense of humor, warmth and elegance. I believe in jewelry’s potential to be symbolic, sentimental, superfluous, necessary, and even hopeful. In much of my jewelry, I use the remarkable lost-wax casting process. It enables me to transform soft, pliable wax into intricate metal objects. It also makes recycling metal a natural part of the process. I leave marks on my pieces that emphasize that they are made by hands. Each cast piece is unique. I work primarily in silver and gold, but have been using jeweler’s bronze more lately. I am inspired by Dutch still life paintings, children’s book illustrations, poetry, ancient jewelry, food garnishes, animals, and shiny things.
I believe that work made with concern for it's environmental and social impact is worthwhile and beautiful. To minimize my impact on the environment I: buy scrap metal and stones from clients whenever possible to make the projects they commission; buy all other metal from Hoover and Strong - their metals are all recycled; use Citrus Pickle; use Hoover and Strong's Harmony diamonds - they are certified to be conflict free; use lost wax casting, which allows me to constantly recycle my own metal; am using more and more man-made lab grown stones since it is so hard to trace where gems from gem shows come from and the conditions under which they were found and cut; have a very small studio space that is easy to ventilate and heat; use recyclable packaging and display items (with the exception of small clear plastic bags which I reuse); am meticulous about the use of my tools, so I have had most of my hand tools and machines for over 20 years; use primarily hand-finishing techniques to minimize electrical use; use biodegradable soaps for cleaning and polishing jewelry; and I'm doing most of my marketing online to save print material waste.