I live in the far north woods where you can smell the deep, evergreen scent of the earth and hear the haunting cry of a loon.
My wish for you is that my jewelry will remind you that there are still wild and quiet places.
Do you remember taking a vacation to the lake? You sat on the dock sipping your coffee watching the morning mist dissolve in the sunlight.
There weren't any big decisions. Stress melted away.
Wearing my jewelry is like that. Well, I mean, like you don't have to make any decisions or worry about whether it will go with your outfit. Just wear it. You're good.
Maybe touch it and feel that connection back to the quiet time on the lake. That's where it was created, so that energy is there in the piece. It comes from me in my little studio in the woods. I give that to you!
All of my pieces are little bursts of color, shape, and texture. There are no mass market, everyone-has-one-of-these, pieces. My work from concept to finish is done by me, by hand. One at a time.
You want a piece of my jewelry because no one else will ever have one like it.
I let the stones talk to me. Those silly stones are sometimes really pesty. They hang out all nice and quiet for a while, sometimes even a year, and then all of a sudden one or two will just start pestering me. "Make me!" "Make me!" Fine. And I let them be what they want.
You might think I'm a little "off" by telling you that stones talk to me. Did I mention that I live way, way up in the north woods? Ely, Minnesota.
My studio looks out over a Boundary Waters lake. That means out of my window is a million acres of federally preserved wilderness called the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW for short).
So it's okay that I let stones talk to me. I'm actually quite normal as far as artists go. Really.
You're telling me that you still don't know me? Okay, here are some statistics:
- I grew up in Neillsville, Wisconsin - population 1752
- I am the middle child with an older and younger brother
- I went to college at UW Oshkosh and have a BS Degree in Computer Science emphasizing in Digital Instrumentation and Interfacing from the Physics Department with a minor in Psychology (I know, right?)
- I spent most of my adult life living in Madison, Wisconsin, where I was a software developer and project lead - mostly at the Department of Natural Resources
- I married my husband in 2001 We met at the DNR. He was a hydro-geologist, I was writing software for the Drinking and Groundwater bureau......
- One day in 2004 we got a wild hair, cashed it all in and headed for the north woods because we wanted real winter. (We really did. Read my FAQ page to answer the questions you have right now.)
- Living in the north woods, I cobbled together a lot of jobs:
- Sold coats
- Worked at the newspaper
- Taught a few computer science courses at the local college
- Was the director of the International Wolf Center for a couple of years
And then one day I took our little Scamp camper for a week-long UW Madison art retreat in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, where I learned how to make scrap metal jewelry.
I needed more. The next summer I took a weekend class in Madison to learn how to solder. I quickly grew to the level of my skill and searched for longer, more intensive training. I found Marilynn Nicholson of the Taos School of Metalsmithing and Lapidary Design in Taos, New Mexico. Off I went.
And here we are today. Feast on these delicious creations with your eyes, but you'd really rather have one to touch and to wear (and please do not try to eat them, they are jewelry, after all). You deserve to treat yourself today. You are one-of-a-kind. Your jewelry should be, too.
And now you know me. Unless that is, we talk longer over a glass of wine on the dock.
15 things you might find out about me as we sip wine on the dock:
- I can write backwards (if we really were chatting on the dock, I'd show you).
- My favorite color is periwinkle. I think because I like to say the word "periwinkle", it's like twinkle or tickle.
- I'm crazy focused when I'm working on something; and I don't stop until whatever it is, is finished.
- I like using semicolons; I don't think they get used as much as they should these days.
- I think it's super hot if the temperature is over 75 degrees. Sixty-five is better for summer. In winter, I like it about 20.
- I hate taking photographs of jewelry. There. I said it.
- My favorite TV show is Project Runway.
- I like sparkles and velvet and will dress up to have happy hour on the dock.
- I used to be vegetarian, now I eat fish, venison, and grouse.
- I like numbers. We got married on a palindrome: 10-02-2001
- I'd rather do your taxes than plan a party (and I'd keep working on them instead of going to said party).
- I won a state bench press competition in 1996 and have a big trophy to prove it.
- I love to cook, eat, and drink wine (not necessarily in that order).
- We go in our hot tub every night through winter (too many bugs in summer) as long as it's above -10F. Colder than that and you stick to things on your way back into the house.
- My name is on a plaque in Mushers' Hall in Fairbanks, Alaska, for winning a dogsled race.
Holy buckets! You read all of that and now you are all the way down here.
So, you're telling me there's a chance.* A chance you'd like to stay in the loop. There's only one way to do that. You need to sign up! Here. I made it easy for you. Fill in the blanks.
*If you know where that line comes from, you will get bonus cool nerd points.