As a visual artist and metal smith, I create works that connect the people, places and memories that have informed my personal life to the primal power of the sea. My practice is closely linked to the natural environment of my seaside home of Vashon Island, as well as childhood experiences in Long Beach Island, New Jersey and Southold, New York on the North Fork of Long Island.
This is contrasted with the urban experience of having lived and worked in Philadelphia, Atlanta and, for many years, Seattle. The juxtaposition of aquatic vs. urban settings guides the materials that find their way into my work and my production methods.
The most revealing aspect of this approach is the central role that texture plays in my practice. The entire process—from conception to initial drawing to stone selection to wax carving to casting, polishing and finishing—is intrinsically woven into my life as an artist. I carry my sketchbook and a small box to save found fragments of shell or stone as I come across them. I love the tactile process of holding raw material and imagining its final form in metal; this kind of scavenging is a wonderfully nomadic activity.
The forms I choose to record and the attitude they convey come from lived experience: for example, summers spent at my grandparents summer cottage or vivid memories of the New York City urban landscape; a ‘day at the beach/night in the city’ summertime spent with friends and family at the Jersey shore.
Resilience is an important theme of my work. I use a subject, a barnacle, which is known for hanging on to a rock, no matter what. Ocean waves are hard-hitting and relentless. What I collect usually has edges broken, or entire chunks missing. Crab joints are dislocated. I find beauty in what’s been beaten and distressed by nature.