My studio practice is an outgrowth of a childhood salvation that I found in transforming chaos into something I could control. Reacting to the unquestionable vulnerability of life became the lens through which I perceive and create. Still to this day, as a professional artist and educator, I find high value in the focus, patience, and dexterous control involved in manipulating physical materials. I am inspired by humanity’s age-old relationship with traditional craft materials and how they have been handled over time and in different cultures. The renewable resources of plant and animal fiber, their use in sheltering and comforting the body and the historical predominance of women working these materials motivated my decision to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Fiber Arts in 1997
Since, I have developed a keen interest in the use of natural dyes from minerals, plants and insects and find using them in work that has relevance to their original purpose, particularly satisfying. Cochineal bugs to color the nest of hungry baby birds in Need to Nurture and protective hulls or bark to dye wood grain patterned handbags that hold collections of our material comforts, such as Framed. And I found the indigo dying process, which needs an oxygen deprived solution to develop the color blue, most significant for pieces in my Glacial Transformation Series, such as Ablation, made in response to finding myself breathless while witnessing first hand the cleaving of this irreplaceable resource.
I find that not only do the qualities of wool physically comfort, but it is coaxing the mayhem of thousands of filaments into felted form that satisfies my psyche. I sculpt through contraction, a relationship between space and mass, or what is unknown and known. The thinner the initial layout of fibers, the more space for their integration. In Muzzle, this dense, yet flexible skin still reveals the underlying framework while in Foundation, a dialogue about the perception of strength is achieved through extreme differential shrinkage. By embedding thick felt shapes within a thin, twelve-foot layout around a resist, a flexible two-foot spine is engineered. Armature, analogous to dynamics of society and family, inevitably shapes human form and personhood, despite an individual’s efforts to take space from such.
Proximity to the body contextualizes my work, such as with the bib, Hardened. The valuation of labor versus material and the permanence of such in a jewelry context has instigated a visual battle between fiber and metal, fought through process. In the brooch, Collapse, the tightening fibers dominate, while in the bracelet, Puncture, the thicker gauged stainless steel evades their pressure. Currently, I am occupied with the significance of the battle between these materials and their associations and the truce that can be found, where both contribute equally to the final form.