How did you get started with Jewelry design? Was that always what you wanted to pursue?
No, but I always knew I was going to be an artist. My entire life from childhood until now has been one big art project. When I was in college at the University of Washington I got into a highly sought after metal-smithing class on a lottery. There was one registered student who didn’t show up, they put at least 20 names into a hat for her spot. I never win anything but that was my lucky day. I changed my major from inter-disciplinary artsto metals at the end of the quarter.
What's the process in making your pieces?
I’m always challenging myself to expand my processes for creating. Typically ideas are sparked by my response to a place we’ve traveled to, an experience, or a pattern in my daily life that I try and analyze. From sketches to concepts in paper it then becomes carved in wax from which a mold is made and then cast in metal. Last steps are soldering posts on earrings, and braiding the cords for the large pieces. The braiding is one of my most favorite parts, it’s really relaxing and super mobile so I can do it on the back porch in the sun.
Each collection has had a different creative process I used to drive the work. For the AWA Collection we traveled to Kauai after a really challenging and emotional year. The trip felt so soul renewing, I knew I wanted to harness all the feelings I felt into a collection. I dissected my favorite photos and broke down what was captivating into simple shapes. I cut them out in paper, taped them and layered them until I found something pleasing that represented the portions of my trip that changed me the most.
From sketching concepts to carving waxes, to soldering and braiding, I enjoy all the different processes of the handmade work. I employ a small family business to cast the pieces for me. They make the molds from my originals, inject the waxes, and finish all the metal by hand. Plus they’re right down the road from me so I can walk to pick up the castings - which I love.
The FRAGMENT Collection came from a need to process my thoughts on how fragmented my life can be. Between being a small business owner, a mom & wife, and having a side job my days can feel so scattered and fragmented. It was therapeutic to create a collection that helped me process the patterns and chaos in my daily life.
I have a home studio. We turned our 3rd bedroom into a studio. Originally, I had basement studio but I felt so disconnected from my family, plus it was so dark and cold all the time. Now I’ve got gorgeous south facing windows that fill the studio with warmth and light and faces the back yard where I can watch my daughter play. It’s also right off the kitchen so I can talk to my husband while he makes me dinner. ;-)
Favorite piece from the new collection?
The FRAGMENT Collection is my favorite collection to date. I love all the pieces but I think the Fold Necklace is the one that I wear the most. I also love the Canal Necklace. It was carved at one of our very favorite places, Hood Canal. It’s two sided and represents the way the tide comes in and out differently on each side of the canal. I’m almost always wearing the Wave Hoops too.
Other hobbies and interests?
I love my family time, a good meal, and time with friends especially when it’s outside. The Pacific Northwest is one of the most arrestingly beautiful places I’ve ever seen and I am so lucky to call this place home. We love hiking and biking and enjoying all the bodies of water surrounded by the mountains.
What do you do in your day off when you manage to have some?
A good day off starts by sleeping in late, snuggling with my family, followed by a good cup of coffee, then some kind of activity like yoga, a hike or a long bike ride, and to close the night with dinner on the back porch with a great glass of wine, our best friends and kids running amok - that would be perfect.