My life in art and design began in the world of interior design. After 4 years of studying the sciences and graduating from the University of Minnesota I discovered that the world of creative design was my passion. After many years of designing home interiors, I moved from Excelsior Minnesota to a cattle ranch in the South Dakota badlands.
Perhaps it was the science of glass formation; maybe it was the possibilities of color and texture; or maybe it was just the surprise and anticipation of opening the kiln 8 hours after filling it with beads. Whatever the cause, lamp work glass called me.
After setting up my glass studio I soon discovered the best way to support my glass habit and market beads was through the creation of Art Jewelry. First there was the design of the bead, then the creation of the jewelry. The first pair of earrings made while the glass was still warm inspired the name "Fresh Beads." I found that the inspirations for jewelry design follow the same principals I use in interior design.
My vision is to create jewelry that is wearable art. In much the same way a room needs to be a visually pleasing and comfortable space to live, jewelry should be comfortable and pleasing to wear. It should be interesting, appealing to the senses, and easy to wear. After the initial fascination with glass, my current work integrates a variety of materials and techniques. Color, texture, and form all come together when precious and semiprecious gems and metals come together in each design.
My wearable art jewelry is meant to accent, inspire, and please the senses.
Back to the science. Torches are used for the formation of glass beads and soldering as well as fold forming. Chemicals are sometimes used for etching or patina effects. Some of my pieces require casting silver; others require cold work with a roller mill, hammers and hand tools.
Sterling, gold and copper are always waiting for that added bit of texture or patina.
Each year the Tucson gem show entices me with treasures from all over the world. I sort through Pearls in every shape, color and quality and inspect gemstones from India, some faceted, some rough cut. Semi precious beads and stones with every color and texture beg to be integrated into a new design.
Then there is the glass. My lamp work beads tend to have an organic stone like appearance. Unless it is beach glass. Each year there are groupings of jewelry designs that are all about the look of water. These pieces may include pearls and stones in the light aqua and blue color palette. They may use recycled glass in the rough form of a bead or recycled glass beads that have been tumbled to appear as if they have come from the sea. Some of the glass is ancient Roman glass, some is modern bits that have been tumbled and drilled, and some is sea glass that has washed up on the beach.