Do you have one piece that you are most proud of, and why? This sparkling citrine drusy statement necklace (“Warrior Princess”) is one of my favorite pieces, and one that I am incredibly proud of. This is a rather large focal piece, which I really enjoy creating. The moment I saw this gorgeous citrine, it immediately reminded me of the sun. All ancient cultures throughout history have used the sun as a symbol that was often used to represent Life, Strength, Energy, Feminine Power, Force, Clarity and Self. I instantly envisioned it emblazed in an arrow-shaped, textured silver setting with a copper bail, added for contrast. I paired it with a piece of fossilized coral and tiger’s eye, because they complimented the citrine perfectly. It is just one of those pieces that was inspired by the focal stone and I was able to translate that idea into a beautiful piece of wearable art jewelry.
Where do you find inspiration for your work? Most of my inspiration comes from nature. For example, gemstones and fossils, organic textures and patterns, trees, the sun, moon and stars, flowers, landscapes, etc. I’m also very inspired by ancient civilizations and symbols. At times, a song or emotion may also inspire a piece. I am very open to the world around me and look for inspiration everywhere.
What started you on this artistic endeavor? My metal jewelry making endeavor began in 2005, after taking a jewelry/metalsmithing workshop at a local gallery. I never had the opportunity to work with metal in high school or college art classes, and I felt a genuine connection with it, perhaps, because I watched my father working with metal when I was young. My father designed and created custom wrought iron railings, gates and home accents in our garage and taught my sister and me to braze small sculptures from welding rods and cut designs into tin cans with the torch. When the course was finished, I set up my own studio space and began to experiment with different metalworking techniques. I purchased various tools and materials over the years, as my skills developed; and now, more than ten years later, I’m still intrigued by metal.
What is your favorite part of your artistic process? The most enjoyable part of my artistic process is actually working with the metal. Designing and sketching jewelry is a lot of fun, but actually manipulating the metal, sawing, filing, shaping, soldering, finishing and especially texturing is what I truly enjoy. The process of transforming a raw piece of metal into a piece of wearable art jewelry gives me a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
When I grow up I want to … I recall when I was in fourth grade; I was extremely fascinated with earth science and learning about the different types of rocks and fossils. I remember declaring that I wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up. Later, in high school, I was more interested in becoming a graphic artist. However, neither of these would become part of my journey in this life. Instead, life led me to jewelry/metalsmithing, in which my deep appreciation of stones and fossils is still evident.
Where did you learn your craft / art? I understood the elements of basic design, art, and color theory in college; however, for the most part, my craft is self-taught and my skills are refined in my studio as I work.
If you were magically given 3 more hours each day - what would you do with them? I would play with metal and make jewelry, of course! I would also like to experiment more with small sculptural forms in copper and silver, or practical home décor or garden items.
If you were not a metalsmith/jewelry artist, what art / craft would you explore? I would definitely explore clay. I absolutely love all types of pottery, and have accumulated quite a few pieces over the years from talented clay artist friends. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a clay class that one of my friends teaches, and I had a chance to “play with clay”, as she says. I enjoyed the class very much and had a lot of fun as well.