I’ve always been easily wooed by all that sparkles. As a young kid in my grandmother’s fancy house, I would eye her ornate crystal chandeliers, longing to pluck those shimmering teardrop pendants and wear them as earrings. It wasn’t long before I discovered that I could craft jewelry myself. My mom still tells the story of how, in middle school, I took that same grandmother’s beloved rosary and fashioned it into a shorter, more contemporary necklace with matching earrings. Those sparkling black beads were simply too seductive to resist.
Throughout high school I would make jewelry from time to time, but my eye also became lured by the art of photography. The darkroom quickly became my sanctuary. I spent every free period possible there, amidst the chemicals, developing my images. My easily dazzled eyes were drawn toward the clean and bold images that a black and white world made visible. Photography played an important role in refining and cultivating my artistic eye.
Though I had been very identified with my creative pursuits, I began to let them go as I neared the end of college. It was time to ‘get serious’ and I begin pursuing a career. My creativity went dormant. I threw myself into the often esoteric and abstract world of psychology. In my early twenties, I got married, then pursued my Masters in Counseling.
Becoming a mother is what eventually yanked me out of my heady focus in psychology and into a much more sensate and concrete way of being. During this past decade of motherhood, my creative self has demanded to be taken off the shelf, dusted off, and revitalized. A few years ago I set up a studio in my basement and started to play again. Though the time I’ve had available to make jewelry has waxed and waned in accordance with the births of my three children, the years have been punctuated by prolific bursts of jewelry crafting. Now that my youngest is approaching kindergarten, I find that all I want to do with my free time is make jewelry. Instead of returning to the field of psychology, I want to see what this creative time will yield.
There is something very potent and grounding about working with one’s hands. The time I spend tinkering feels thrilling and energizing. I've found a creative space that reminds me very much of those early enriching darkroom days. My creative self is happy to, at last, be taking centerstage. I’ve returned to where I started so many years ago. It has been absolutely engaging to make jewelry again and I’m happy to share my pieces with you through my love of photography.
I would characterize my aesthetic as one of ‘bold elegance’. Elegance on its own isn’t interesting enough to me. It needs to be pumped with a more dynamic energy. I love the power of simplicity, of stripping things down to their essence and removing the extraneous. In our culture there is such a tendency to busy things up unnecessarily. I actively resist this tendency in my craft. It almost feels like a rebellious act to allow my pieces to be as pared down as they are. I draw a lot of inspiration from the values of the Art Deco period of the 1920s. Strong geometric and industrial shapes were favored then. I think my pieces give a nod to that era while still being very much of this era.
I will frequently find a piece or shape that I’m drawn to use in many variations. I love how changing the slightest detail can shift the entire effect of a piece. There are, for example, many iterations of triangles in my work. I just keep on discovering many new arrangements that excite me. It’s such a bold, powerful shape.
These days I find myself largely drawn towards metal and chain. I love mixing metals together and seem to have a preference for brass. Gold often feels too bright to me, but mixing it with brass seems to tone it down nicely. Silver on its own feels a bit cold. Blended together, the different metals can balance each other out very effectively.
At a very practical level, it’s crucial for me to ‘test drive’ all the jewelry I make. If it jingles in an annoying way or is too heavy, I have to tweak the design until it works or scrap it. A number of my pieces are made with vintage components. Although this might sound appealing, it fills me with angst to know that supplies will run out. Some of the metal beads I use are african and only available when the merchant makes rounds to my supplier. The scarcity of some of these components will force me to adapt and come up with new designs, and in the end, that’s where the fun is for me.
I can either ship your order to you, or you can pick it up at a location on Phinney Ridge if you are in the Seattle area. I will send you those details once the order has been placed. My timeliness in making your jewelry will depend on the availability of the materials and the volume of orders. I anticipate needing a few days to at most a week to complete your order. Simply let me know if you need to expedite the order for a special occasion.
CUSTOM ORDERS: I understand that some of you are just silver gals. A number of my pieces can be made in silver, so just let me know if you are interested in this. The price might need to be slightly adjusted since silver tends to be pricier. In addition to customizing the metal, it's also possible for you to specify the length of a necklace you would like. Please just let me know how many inches you would like it to be and I'm happy to meet your request.
I'm most grateful to all of those who have supported me in this project. Thank you to my generous husband, Ryan, for building this website for me. The extremely talented Monica came up with my logo and branding. Thank you to my many muses- Danika, Alix, Betsy, Maggie C., Maggie W., Suzanne, Seema, Gina, Allison and Regina, for charging my pieces with their radiance. I'm grateful to Kristie for her refined eye in taking my portrait. There are many more who have helped me with their feedback and supported me with their enthusiasm. You have all me vital in the creation of this project; my deepest gratitude to you all.