I was raised on a farm in Southern Michigan and have always been creative. I was taught that you can do anything; just try it, work hard and it will turn out.
My husband and I made silver and stone jewelry in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Neil did the silver work, while I made the stone cabs for the pieces. Then I took oil painting classes and soon sold some of my work.
I went to work at a theatrical studio as a seamstress, making stage backdrops and drapery. I also made stage armor, ran the store, did shipping, and drop rentals. I even helped set up and ship the lighting for the Epcot Center. After I left there, I went to work at two separate artist studios cutting mats and doing framing for their shows.
When we retired in 2001, we moved to Northern Michigan to the cabin we built in 1989. We added on 1200 sq. ft. I loved the challenge of taking a pile of lumber and our drawings and turning that into our home. During that time, we also rehabbed five rental homes. I learned a lot from Neil about structure. He’s a welder/fabricator.
I began beading because of the colors and textures of the beads, but felt I needed something else. That’s when I found wire wrap jewelry. Wire wrap and stone blended well for me, since I have always collected stones and shells from our numerous trips in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Wire wrap is all about structure. The wire contains the stone. It shouldn’t over-power it. The trick is to achieve balance while showing off the beauty of the stone and the flow of the wire. I then taught myself Viking weave. It’s yards of fine wire wrapped around larger wires. Next came the Viking knit, which is wire knitted around a dowel rod and pulled through a series of holes in a board. I am currently working on copper cold form around stone. It is a multi-step process that is very challenging. There are so many styles of metal jewelry that the possibilities are endless. I find the work relaxing and almost hate to see a piece finished. My goal is to make pieces that are timeless.
Being at the gallery has given me a community of friends with a common interest. There is so much creativity flowing through the gallery that I am always challenged to improve my skills.
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