Each month a new Featured Member is chosen from the completed member profiles on our website. Their interview and work is highlighted on our blog and social media.
San Francisco, Ca
Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in the woods of New Hampshire playing in rivers and driving down dirt roads. I’ve always enjoyed creating with my hands and went through various crafty phases as a child- pillow sewing, card making, beading. The glue gun and I got along very well and we ended up with an old sleeping bag covered in dried hot glue. Metal work has become the favorite creative outlet of mine over the last few years, but it has always been important for me to have a craft. Outside of metal, I work on a business operations team for a tech company named Okta. I am an avid music listener, explorer, a bit of a runner and an aspiring dog musher.
What is your favorite tool and why?
I love sawing intricate patterns with a handsaw. My most ambitious pieces have been a tree with tiny branches and roots and a necklace of all the continents. I find the patience and persistence required of hand sawing soothing and I enjoy taking on ambitious challenges to get the finest detail out of the metal.
Which materials do you create with most and what is your attraction to using them?
I am in a bit of a transition from a materials perspective in that the materials I am used to being able to work with- copper, bronze, brass are at odds with the skill level and direction I want to be able to achieve. I have always dreamed of working with gold and it is something I look forward to working towards.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My favorite place to draw inspiration is people watching. I have always been drawn to the harmony between individual and jewelry so I often pay close attention to different pieces I see on people throughout the city. My dream is to make pieces that fit the wearer like an extension of their body, style and personality. I continue to drive to create work with a finer finish that is both delicate and wearable.
How long have you been working in metals and what brought you into this field?
I’ve been working with metal for 5 years. I was introduced to metal working through an Art studio program in school. I did my first soldering and sawing and quickly made metal work a part of my curriculum. In college, I was living in the jewelry studio teaching, monitoring and creating. I love the intensity and dedication it demands to bring a project to completion and losing track of time in the studio. I love using fire to turn metal into liquid. Most recently, I have grown to love the beauty and stability of a carefully finished piece. I have been lucky to find the Metal Arts Guild community and Scintillant Studio here in the bay to keep my passion alive and take my craftwork to the next level.
What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in metals?
In many ways I am just starting out in metals and the most important thing has been to not get stuck. It is tough when you are gaining skills as an artist to be able to create something that turns out the way you want it to, but the stumbling blocks are necessary to move through to achieve that growth. It’s hard not to feel like a bit of an impostor when you see jewelers with skills that you want, but it is important to seek help and mentorship while maintaining patience. Usually, you are your toughest critic.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a metal artist and have you overcome it, or how are you working to overcome it?
My biggest challenge is having time to commit to advancing my skills. On top of my job, it can be difficult to have the energy to muscle through another lesson at the end of the day, but I have been nudging myself to remember how good it feels to create. Making time and energy in my day to prioritize metal has been a practice and a balance.
Favorite resource/vendor or website you would like to share?
Rio Grande has always been my go to, but my favorite resource in materials lately has been working with Adam of Scintillant studios to better understand stones and stone sourcing.