Is the process of sawing, grinding, and polishing gems and minerals. I initially purchased lapidary equipment to finish enamel pieces but could not resist diving into my grandpa’s bucket of agates. I was immediately hooked, discovering the hidden treasures that lie beneath the surface. The majority of the stones used in my work are from the St. Louis and Carlton counties in north eastern Minnesota. I enjoy the challenge of exploring the beauty of “ordinary” rocks, which have an allure and interesting story of their own.
I have received much guidance and instruction from the Carlton County Gem & Mineral Club. Performing my own lapidary work with stones that my family, friends, and I have collected, makes each piece a unique record of a time, place, and experience.
Is an ancient art that has been practiced throughout history and the world. In essence, it is a process of fusing glass, in powder form, to metal at temperatures nearing 1500º Fahrenheit in a kiln. There are a multitude of application techniques from cloisonné and champlevé, to stenciling and pliqué a jour.
My first experience enameling was a summer course at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Shortly thereafter, I had the opportunity for instruction from Heinz Brummel and independent study under William Slack. The possibilities the colors and various techniques provide intrigue me and drive me to constantly experiment on how the medium can be manipulated. I have attended the Jewelry Arts Institute in New York and studied under Alexis de la Sierra and at the Asociacion Venezolana de las Artes del Fuego while I resided in Venezuela.
Confession: I signed up for my first jewelry class because my friend’s older sister informed me that the boy to girl ratio was pretty high. It only provided undesirable offers from the opposite gender but did spark my lifelong love of working with metals. I use primarily silver, for its cool tone and properties that provide great versatility, and copper for the amazing range of colors achieved through oxidization and patinas. I love the tools, problem solving, and playing with fire!