"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 conversation. A conversation between the artist and the materials first and then later, a conversation between the artist, the work and the viewer. And I have often wondered, how does the communication begin?
I think it begins with a gesture.
After the artist's idea, after the materials are assembled, there is always an initial gesture; maybe a line of pencil across white paper, a hammer mark, a brushstroke, a handprint pressed into clay. And then the conversation is underway.
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.
Ultimately, I enjoy the challenge of finding the connections between materials or techniques that perhaps would not ordinarily appear to relate and thereby start a new, and hopefully interesting, conversation.