Artist Bio

I come from a family of artists in Garnett, Kansas, so my arts education began at a very young age.  My mother was the first art teacher at Garnett High School, and my father was a woodcarver, cabinetmaker, and fine carpenter. My older sister and I always had access to materials ranging from unique paper samples, drawing and painting supplies, fabrics and fibers, natural materials, and all the wood scraps and tools we could handle.
Studying art in college was a natural evolution for me. I hold both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts degree from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. There I studied under the direction of Professor Marjorie Schick, internationally renowned contemporary jeweler. It was during her classes that I was first exposed to the concepts of design, which gave me a new understanding of the manipulation of materials beyond the stages of simple exploration. To see her work evolve from the most basic materials into grand forms awash with color was inspiring. Without a doubt, she has had a tremendous influence both on my work and my life.
Contemporary jewelry was a field that I was completely unfamiliar with until studying with Professor Schick. Although our styles are different, my own work has also been primarily large-scale, non-traditional jewelry up to this point. I have recently found that my interests are changing, and I am now working to make pieces across a broader spectrum of contemporary craft.
Working outside my field for ten years at the local public library, the pull of designing and creating only grew stronger. I feel so fortunate to now be able to spend my days working in my studio. Looking back, it was not just the time that Mom and Dad spent teaching me specific skills that instilled my desire to become an artist. It was simply that we lived a creative life. It is that which I now aspire to once again.