"For more things affect our eyes than our ears."
--Jean-Jacques Rousseau, “Essay on the Origin of Languages”
B.A. Liberal Arts, Bucknell University
B.S. Civil Engineering, Rutgers University
I think of handmade art and craft as a kind of communication. A communication between the artist and the materials first and then later, a between the artist, the work and the viewer. And I have often wondered, how does the communication begin? For me, I think, it begins with seeing or hearing something I respond to--whether it's a stone on the path ahead of me or a piece of music, a painting. These things stay with me-- resting for a time in a box or on a table in my studio or sometimes only in my memory.
But for me there is also a sense of something else there, that, if I listen carefully and try to stay our of the way, will be able to come forward. There is always my initial response--a gesture; maybe a line of pencil across white paper, a hammer mark, a brushstroke, a handprint pressed into clay--and sometimes I move ahead of the communication, sometimes I fall behind. But in the end, if I am patient, and listen, I sense that "something" again and make another attempt to clear the way for it to move ahead. And so it goes, back and forth. What results is a blend of the materials and my own gestures; my best attempts.
As makers, our own individual gesture is unique and it is this uniqueness that allows the viewer to distinguish one person's work from another. We see and recognize the "hand" of the maker in what they produce. I have always looked for these gestures or "signs of making'' when I look at handmade work. It is something that sets hand-craft apart from mechanical mass production. In the same way that the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi celebrates the perfection of imperfection, I think the subtle variations within a hand-crafted piece simply add to it's beauty and uniqueness.
Although many of the paintings you will find on this site are executed using a traditional approach such as pure transparent watercolors or sumi-e ink painting, I often incorporate other materials such as gesso, colored pencil, textured paper and fibers and metals. Similarly, my jewelry pieces are mostly created using traditional metalsmithing techniques, but I also employ beadweaving, macrame and work in Precious Metal Clay, enamel, polymer clay and incorporate found-objects. In many pieces, the techniques and materials are combined.