In my current work, I explore the private experiences of observation, solitude, and contemplation engendered by large-scale, sparsely populated public spaces. Often industrial or municipal sites, these places evoke a sense of multitudes, but are usually empty. For me, these spaces invite reflection on the absence of people and the presence of their traces, the ways traces connect us while maintaining distance, and the ways time gradually influences these traces.
For this work, I gather materials and images from such sites, study their details, and incorporate them into jewelry pieces. This process helps me explore how value is assigned to objects. It leads me to consider how some materials come to be deemed as precious—warranting attention, study, and time—while others are overlooked and left to erode. It suggests questioning the extent to which human preservation can protect objects from accumulating traces of time’s passage. The process invites questions about craft, the interactions between humans and objects: contemplation about those who applied the paint layers and graffiti, laid the bricks, their individual histories, the sources of the materials composing the brick. As moveable objects, the jewelry pieces seek to function as portals inviting similar reflections and experiences in the wearer and viewer.
I began metalsmithing in 2006, studying at Earlham College, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and Peters Valley School of Craft. I currently live and work in Philadelphia and the surrounding region. My work is influenced by the visual experiences of living here, of my commutes along I-95, as well as the experiences of living in other places including Kentucky, Indiana, Maine, and originally Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
My thinking about interaction with materials has been influenced by a variety of individuals and experiences. The work of Heikki Seppa, David Huang, Lee Bontecou, Eva Hesse, and Mark Dion have impacted my approach to materials. Installations of work by Sheila Hicks, Sol LeWitt, and Robert Rauschenberg have impacted how I think about spaces. Attending the 2012 Outsider Art Fair in New York had a significant influence on how I thought about the requirements of traditional techniques and the construct of craftsmanship. Working as a mixed media art teacher at the Center for Creative Works—an art center for adults with developmental differences—helped me learn about the power of gestures and interaction with materials. My continuing work as an occupational therapist with students and young adults with developmental differences helps me consider different ways of experiencing perception, action, and interaction with the world.
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