ARTIST STATEMENT: Metalsmith Artist in Sea Inspired Jewelry
Metalsmith Artist of Ocean Inspired Jewelry in Seattle
As a visual artist and metal smith, I create works that connects its wearer to the primal power of the sea, reflected through my personal experience. We are made of water. It's what gives us life. It moves with us as the full moon pushes and a low tide pulls.
My practice is closely linked to the natural environment of my seaside home of Vashon Island, as well as childhood memories in Long Beach Island, New Jersey and Southold, New York on the North Fork of Long Island.
This is contrasted with the urban experience of having lived and worked in Philadelphia, Atlanta and, for many years, Seattle. The juxtaposition of ocean vs. urban settings guides my design perspective on how to address climate change, our human impact and how we see beauty in the imperfect.
My jewelry symbolizes a tidal power and provides the viewer with a moment in time to think about the power of the sea. Everyday, the sea is taking land back, chasing humans to higher ground; she herself resilient and adaptable on a daily basis.
The most revealing aspect of this approach is the repurposing of found beach objects that have been changed by the sea. The entire transformation process—from conception to initial drawing to stone selection to wax carving to casting, polishing and finishing—is intrinsically woven into my life as an artist.
My work is influenced by the causes at the nexus of climate change and how this affects our lives on a daily basis. The ocean artifact - a broken shell, a claw, a found piece of rusty metal - is in itself a fleeting symbol of a moment, to be eroded to nothing or smashed back into tiny grains of sand. I love the tactile process of holding raw material and imagining its final form in metal; this kind of scavenging is a wonderfully nomadic activity.