Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field.
I was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland in a family active in the art & craft field.
When did you first discover your creative talents?
I was in the middle of the Southwest desert with my future husband camping in the back of a truck. He was painting en plein-air for hours at a time. After exploring the desert floor looking for geodes, reading all the books we had on hand, I was looking for something to do. With the help of a little book on macrame I had picked up at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, waxed linen left over from repairing moccasins and seeds I found in the desert, I made my first pieces of jewelry with knotting techniques. When we returned to the Bay Area, Brooks Darrow, a Burlingame jeweler took me under his wings and taught me everything I wanted to learn in silversmithing. My work fiber techniques and jewelry techniques, blended together.
What or who inspires you when it comes to your work?
Originally I got inspired mainly by art, paintings, but also jewelry by artist such as Lalique and the Art Nouveau movement, architecture such as Gaudi or Frank Loyd Wright, and some fiberart such as Diane Itter’s miniatures. I still find that most of my inspiration comes from art and nature. New work also builds up on top of past work as in revisiting earlier work with a newer vision and fresh perspective. It is like a spiral path.
Could you tell us about some of your work?
Some of my pieces include knotting techniques, braiding, also known as kumihimo, cordmaking, crochet and nautical knotting techniques. I incorporate sone metalsmithing techniques, by adding metal structures and some hand made clasp and findings. I work mainly with nylon and silk as I have found these cord and thread to be best for heirloom quality pieces.
What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?
As of late I decided to revisit some pure Cavandoli pieces. Cavandoli is a specialty within knotting where only double half hitches are used continuously creating a tapestry like woven fabric that is incredibly strong as each knot locks itself. It is a time consuming form of work with about 325 to 400 knot per square inch, so I decided to keep the scale of the pieces small, not wider than one inch and to create modules to be incorporated into neckpieces, bracelets and medallions. This new series is done with glass beads, a departure for my work. This work is emerging one piece at this time, and I look forward to exhibiting these new pieces at Celebration.
How do you describe your style?
I have been lucky to be able to define my own style.
What is your approach to design?
Lots of different types of pieces, many moods… Some are labor of love, others are designed with just a few knots, like a haiku, yet still containing a signature.
Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to designing?
Yoga and meditation have had a big impact on my design work. It has changed how I see my work. It has brought me deliberate simplicity and single focus.
Describe yourself in 5 words
Focused, hard working, generous, sometimes funny, occasionally annoying
How did you bridge the gap of the business side of designing?
Balancing the creative and business side can be a challenge. I find I need to watch my timing as I work in spurts, creative spurts, followed by breaks – these breaks provide the perfect opportunities to attend to the business side of my work.
Any words of advice for aspiring designers/artists?
Develop your own style, learn about the business side of being an designer/artist and get very comfortable at using the internet and new medias.
A cat. He used to be big, a bit bossy and quite regal. He is getting very old, so we try our best to spoil him and give him lots of love.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Someone coming to my booth and asking me if I have something totally unrelated to my work.
How did you get involved with Celebration of Craftswomen?
The first time I did Celebration of Craftswomen, my younger son was 3 month old. I was nursing him and brought him to the show. Everyone was very supportive.
How long have you been involved with CoC?
Since 1998 with a few years skipped here and there.