Both of my parents are very artistic individuals – my dad a fine woodworker and my mom a gifted seamstress, painter and jeweler. In the early seventies, they both got the surprise of their lives when my mom became pregnant with me. These two talented people chose to give up their artistic endeavors for a more steady income to raise a family; that is when they longer had the drive to create art. My dad became a firefighter and my mom became an accountant.
I never thought I had an artistic bone in my body even thought I loved to create with my hands. In fact, in high school, I begged my mother to help me complete my final art project for the year. It was a painting of ocean waves and I just couldn’t get the perspective right (even though I loved every moment of creating it). Of course within five minutes, she had the waves jumping out of the canvas. How did she do that?! I wish I had that talent!
My parents told me when I entered collage that I should focus on a career that would ‘pay the bills’ – something that would be ‘dependable.’ Part of me wanted to continue to create with my hands but I also didn’t think that I had ‘the gift’ that my parents did. I followed a very safe path down the road of business administration and eventually earned an MBA in international marketing.
Flash forward twenty years and I found myself as a successful business analyst in the consumer packaged goods industry. I was traveling too much and the stress of the job was really starting to affect my health. I decided to find a hobby to distract me from the tough days of my corporate life. After taking a glass bead making class with my mom and sister, I set my sights on creating jewelry from glass beads that I made.
In the early years, my glass bead work was clearly the work of a novice as was my jewelry. In looking back at images now, I cannot believe that I pushed myself to evolve because that ‘body of work’ just looked like there was no artist in me. I enjoyed what it was I was doing but the beauty that was in my head was not being executed through my hands; that didn’t change until I found my gift in the art of enameling and metalworking many years later.
I am mostly self-taught in the ancient art of glass enameling on copper and, save for a couple of tutoring sessions, self-taught metalworker. I am extremely proud of my work today and continue to push myself to find new applications and effects using powdered glass coupled with metalworking. My work has been featured in multiple national and international publications, I participate in juried art shows in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions (most recently, with the American Craft Council and Craft Boston), and enjoy teaching my craft to others who love the art form.
Five years ago I gave up corporate life to focus on my true passion and can proudly say that I am now a full time artist. My family thinks I am crazy but I have never been happier! I am finally translating my brain’s vision through my hands to share with the world which makes my heart shine.