I create jewelry because it allows me to make art that can be held in the hand. Working with sterling silver, semi-precious gemstones, pigments, resin, and found objects, I use the ancient technique of lost wax casting in which molten silver melts a wax original and takes its shape. With dental and hand-made tools, I fold, bend, drip, twist, carve, cut, puncture, score, and texturize wax and use molten wax to solder pieces together. The wax I use is less than 0.5 mm thick, and I push the limits of the medium. I apply pigments to the cast metal with brushes, toothpicks, fingers, and solvents. All my pieces are unique; there is no mold.
Silver is my medium and nature is my subject. I’m intrigued by contrasts: the permanence of silver and the impermanence of nature’s forms, hard and soft materials, smooth and rough surfaces, the dull gray of silver combined with powerful colors. I juxtapose what is bright and shiny with what is dark and mysterious. Like nature herself and the women for whom I design, my work embodies contradictions and complexities.
Natural materials call to me; they beckon. I want to touch and understand them, see how they work, take them apart and explore their components. As a beachcomber and rock hunter, I collect, photograph, dissect and study nature’s wondrous structures. In my garden and on my hikes in the woods, I observe the cycles of life – birth, growth, death, decay, and rebirth. No human can achieve the perfection that already exists, so I do not copy nature. Instead, I evoke natural processes through visual metaphors and allusions. I am in partnership with the natural world, co-creating beauty.
I push the limits of silver and make jewelry that is not traditional. My jewelry is for women who are also pushing limits, whatever their age – women who are bold, wild, and free. I am deeply inspired by women who challenge expectations. I dedicate my jewelry to “wild lives”, which has a double meaning. The term refers to wildlife, as in the flora and fauna of the natural world, and also to the wild lives of courageous women who break through stereotypes. I want my jewelry to help women dress as non-traditionally as they choose. Wild lives are awe-inspiring. To be wild is to be free.