My interested in the alchemical art of transforming raw materials into wearable works of art started early in college. I am deeply intellectual by nature, but I found that I needed art to calm my mind. When immersed in art, time dissipates, self-consciousness fades, and I am deeply engaged, present, and, importantly, free of anxiety. "Flow state" = that sweet spot where a task is challenging enough to keep me hooked, yet not so daunting that I get in my head.
My neurodivergence has led me to try just about every art form. Stained glass, pottery, iron forging, paper making, linocut, costume design, and botanical printing – to name a few stand outs. As I write this I am taking a mixed media painting class creating three dimensional nature paintings by painting over kelp and ferns and such.
But there is something about making jewelry has stuck with me more than any other medium. I get to craft art pieces that we carry around with us – on our bodies! I get to make all the fanciful or zany things I want to wear that no one around me is making.
In 2013, when I learned lost wax casting, my creative outlet took a transformative turn. Being able to cast my creations empowered me to share my designs with the world -and to pursue something I feel very called to do – to work on behalf of our planet.
After working for a few wonderful environmental organizations, I wanted to establish an environmental NGO that would help my colleagues succeed at the human dimension of the environmental – after all, at this point, we are really dealing with a human problem. To spread this emerging science among my peers as fast as possible – because, well, it is rather urgent – I reinvested what would have been my salary, embracing a grad-student lifestyle all over again!
Who knew it would be creating art pieces that will live beyond me that would allow me to eke out the living I needed to do something for the world that I hope will live beyond me.
Fast forward a decade and I have co-authored the very book I started the NGO to write – and it is already having far reaching impact on our environmental work. And my jewelry has found homes in some amazing boutiques scattered along California's northern coast and beyond.
It won’t surprise you dear reader (wow, you have read so far!) to know that a lot of my pieces are nature based. Or that, because of my neurodivergence, I also need to constantly work on new skills and ideas. This year I am super interested in Art Deco (especially if it overlaps with nature, but it doesn’t have to). Just today, writing this I thought, “oooh, it would be great to make a line honoring neurodiversity”. Next project!