The days of the isolated studio practice are gone. Sourcing materials from all over the world, artists are economically and politically connecting to the global community even when not thinking about it. I am conscious that every action has a reaction and every decision has a ramification whether good or bad. These ideas inspire me both as a member of the global community and as an artist. Through my work I am able to join my voice and opinions to ideas that affect us all. I do this through community-centered collaborative art, an individual studio practice, and education.
I am driven by the idea that the web of life is an inter-connected system. From atoms to molecules to matter everything is structurally made of the same “stuff”. I construct forms that are comprised of multiple interdependent parts. The pieces are held together with tension and while they have structural integrity, they are also flexible and vulnerable. The “molecules”, rings, and random collected bits used in my constructions offer us the opportunity see and feel what we are made of. A bracelet of “molecules” sliding over the hand is a glimpse into what that phenomenon might actually feel like, and a necklace of rubies extending off the neck suggests the view an electron has as it travels through the air and into a body. Other pieces function in groups, one piece finishing the sentence of its neighbor. Series and multiples are interesting to me as the pieces work together to convey the message.
Collaboratively, I direct Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM), a traveling community mining and recycling project that uses donated jewelry to create an alternative to mining and manufactured jewelry. The project encourages consideration of the social and environmental impacts of mining and jewelry production. RJM draws public attention to the creativity and skills of jewelry designers, reveals the stories behind our personal collections and encourages re-consideration of our habits of consumption. It raises awareness of the connection between mining, metalsmithing, activism, and art. RJM involves volunteer "miners", "smelters", "refiners", jewelers and metalsmiths working together to create a new and transparent supply chain. The project is both performance and event, linking recycling, reuse and collaborative work sessions with the creation of unique, innovative, handmade jewelry.