I’ve lived in Wisconsin my entire life, my jewelry is influenced and inspired by the natural beauty that surrounds me.
How did you find out about metalclay and then start working with it? How long?
I took a basic PMC earring class at a bead shop in 2003 and was immediately hooked. I couldn’t even concentrate on making the earrings because I was trying to figure out how to buy a kiln without my husband finding out!! I took certification classes I and II with Linda Bernstein and Hattie Sanderson.
What drives you to make jewelry?
I believe I have adult attention disorder...at least my hands do. My hands are always busy, never at ease doing nothing. I have so many ideas flying through my head and not enough time to get them all out!
Won any awards for your jewelry? for anything else?
I’ve yet to win any major awards for my work but I’ve been told many times that my tent/booth decorations are the best they’ve seen and how it all compliments my jewelry!! These kind words are awards in themselves, at least to me they are!
Do you do any other type of art?
I work with glass enamel on copper, I absolutely love acrylic enamels, just like painting a little picture in glass! Amazing to me. I also bake some pretty wicked cookies, which I do consider an art in itself.
What is your art sensibility - precise or organic?
I think I’m both precise and organic all at the same time, if that’s possible? I love the organic nature of PMC but find myself refining it pretty precisely by the time a piece is finished.
When did you feel you had more confidence in your abilities?
I’m still not solidly confident in all of my abilities. I did have a moment at an art fair a few years ago that has stuck with me. I had taken a sterling silver jewelry class at the Peninsula Art School that summer, the class was taught by a staunch, traditional metal smith artist. She made her opinion of PMC very clear; she did not approve and pretty much dogged me in front of the entire class. Later that summer as I sat in my little white art fair tent, my fine silver jewelry displayed in all it’s glory, I heard a familiar voice from that class acknowledge to her companion that this PMC work was the best that she had seen!! She did not know I was sitting there, heart racing as I secretly took in her critique!! I sat and listened and absorbed her words, thinking to myself..."she approves of my work!!" I did muster up the nerve to introduce myself to her, shaking like a leaf as I outstretched my hand to hers. That was a moment, that was THE moment that I believed in myself.
What is your favorite tool for working with metalclay?
I don’t have just one favorite tool, there are so many! Can I say the kiln? That’s where the magic happens, with both PMC and glass enamel.
Where do you work?
Oh my GOSH, you want to see my work space?! Did I mention I’m in the basement? I’ll get a shot for you! It may take more than one shot to get it all in. I currently have two benches, two tables and the floor covered in debris!!
What is your favorite thing to make?
Anything with trees. This past summer spurred an obsession with carving blocks, with trees being my favorite subject.
Do you ever add commercial components?
Oh yes. I buy sterling silver and leather cords for my pendants, beads, findings, anything that enhances my jewelry.
How do you work, and when? (for ex. assembly line or one at a time)
I’m very sporadic in my work. I work in little spurts due to time constraints and well...just life! I do assembly line when adding bails to pendants, otherwise I’m pretty much one at a time.
Do you have any kind of creative ritual?
I really can’t be creative after I’ve been at work. I believe the PC and florescent lights of my cage, oh I mean cubicle, suck the brains out of my head! My creative moments usually occur on the weekend. I start by selecting cd’s to fit my mood, next I try to clear enough space on my bench so I can actually work.
How do you hold onto ideas that you don't have time to pursue NOW!
I try to jot down ideas as they fly through my brain. I doodle on everything close at hand, even my kids school work. I’ve had to apologize to teachers for the sailboat or tree they find on a homework assignment.
Do you ever use a sketchbook?
Yes, but I never sketch a complete piece. I use the sketchbook to capture ideas or a little picture I’d like to try to carve.
Do you ever teach classes and where?
I want to teach but I’m a big chicken! My daily daydream while in my cube includes quitting my boring job and teaching jewelry classes!
Do you make a living at it?
No, but I did show a profit last year. The IRS says I can keep trying!
Do you do custom orders?
Yes, I’ve done many and they make me very nervous!!
What are you working on currently?
The Peninsula Art School in Fish Creek, WI holds an open Salon Gallery each winter. All artists are able to submit two pieces for display during the month of January. The event ends with a wonderful evening of art, music, poetry, food, wine and sales! I’ve been honored to take part in this event the past two years, selling one piece each time! What a thrill! I’m tossing around ideas and designs for the Salon Gallery 2009.
How do you make time for everything you want to do?
I’m crazy. That’s the only answer I can come up with. There are times when I look at my jewelry, all on display at an art fair, and I think to myself..."when did I do all of this". It’s like an out of body experience at times.
Anything else you'd like to tell us about yourself?
I’m not the girl that was dancing on the bar at Husby’s during Sister Bay Fall Fest last weekend. : )
It has been a pleasure getting to know you.