I grew up in the mountains of North Central West Virginia. The verdant and mountainous landscape that surrounded my parents carved-out homestead instilled in me a profound appreciation for nature. My earliest childhood memories are of dark soil squishing between my toes as I gathered tomatoes from the garden, sculpting dirt, and catching fireflies. While discovering remnants of previous man-made assemblages such as old fences, pottery shards and glass bottles, I felt a link to the past and a developed a desire to create objects that would withstand time beyond my existence. All my favorite childhood memories took place in nature. I’ve always been inspired or deterred by my environment; I am at my best living in the countryside and interacting with nature.
Today, I am a studio artist living in the North Carolina foothills. I draw inspiration from old homesteads, the Piedmont region’s red dirt, and local wildlife. Living on a farm, I find pure enjoyment watching animals and insects interact while going about their daily habits seemingly unaffected by their surroundings while at the same time, profoundly connected to them. These animals and insects become personal icons symbolizing moments or moods in my life. I am most drawn to the caterpillar for its perseverance, patience, and ability to transform. At the age of 42, I welcomed motherhood and like the caterpillar, I have surrendered to this process of transformation. Now age 3, my daughter Saige slows my pace, keeps me present, and allows me to relive those early childhood memories all over as we discover the natural world together. I once read that the Cicada lies dormant and chooses their own time to be born. After several years of wishing, Saige came to my husband and me when it was her time. Different animals and insects will turn up in my artwork as the seasons change and my life evolves.
I enjoy making specialized pieces adorned with fauna and flora that have nothing to do with necessity but are utilitarian in their own right. In my home, the kitchen is the center of all activity. Handmade pottery is used daily and symbolizes conscious cooking, eating, and even cleaning up with friends and family. It is only after years of usage do my fine crafted objects become powerful family heirlooms, evoking a lifetime of memory and experience for those who use them.