A few years ago I began taking metal smithing classes at Western Illinois University (where I have been a painting and drawing professor since 1994) from Kat Myers, a friend, colleague and very respected metals artist. As soon as I cut my first sheet of metal and manipulated it to become something new I was hooked. I set up a metals studio in my home (with my two rescue Basenjis, a Basenji mix, and my beloved husband who is also a painter) and have been making jewelry ever since.

My background as a painter influences my designs as does the beauty I find in my garden at home. I am attracted to botanical forms and much of my work reflects that while other pieces reflect the wonderful variety of non-floral forms I encounter in the natural world. I am drawn to asymmetry and whimsy in my work. I want my pieces to be uniquely beautiful and always fun to wear!

My mother was an antique dealer for the last 30 years of her life and specialized in Victorian and Edwardian jewelry. I can remember rummaging through her inventory as she set up for antique shows and being completely absorbed in examining each beautiful piece while in awe of its complexity and beauty. Those experiences have stayed with me and have remained cherished memories that seep into my work as I put pencil to paper to design my next piece.

I am pleased to find that my jewelry resonates with women who express themselves by the way they adorn themselves, as do I - sometimes quiet, sometimes fierce, and sometimes wonderfully feminine, but always strong and confident. These are the women I think of when I design my pieces.

So here’s to you individuals who want to wear something to express the wonderful person you are – I hope I can play a small part in helping you do that!