Employing the traditional fabrication techniques of the goldsmith and enamelist in combination with contemporary metalsmithing innovations, I construct complex narratives in metal that speak to the curiosities, challenges and marvels of our time.
By incorporating movement and interaction with tiny automata, I hope to explore and keep alive the enigma that is childhood wonder as well as draw attention to the marvels of our everyday life and the preciousness of the extraordinary journey that we are all on together.
For about a decade I have collected early to mid-twentieth century vending machine toys and gumball charms, Stanhope peep charms, antique mechanical toys and lilliputian Victorian curiosities. I work directly with these diminutive oddments, making molds of them for use in my work, deconstructing them to make the mechanical figures and details in my wearable automata. I manipulate them to form my own narrative, integrating universal themes in tandem with the questions of my own heart.
I was a collector more than a creator in my early years growing up in New England. I had deep roots there, being of both Native American and Mayflower descent.
Weekends were spent combing flea markets, antique stores and garage sales, and I lost myself in the uniqueness of materials, color and design in old things, be they handcrafted or manufactured. For one unbelievable summer I worked in my favorite local antique store--a multi-level maze with numerous antique vendors. During this time, I was also studying sociology at Smith College, attempting to satisfy my insatiable curiosity for the human condition. Decades later I would be combining these two interests to make wearable automata--a word that I had never even heard of back then!
At the age of 26, a week-long vacation to the small Caribbean island of St John stretched into 22 years...my mornings start where octopuses wash up at my feet and where iguanas, herons, deer, mongoose, crabs and endangered sea turtles leave tracks in the sand.