Studying botany as an undergraduate at Colorado College, I spent idyllic summers collecting thousands of botanical specimens, identifying and processing them for the herbarium (a museum of dried vascular plants). The serene focus of examining a specimen under a microscope while keying it to species was broken only by the occasional wayward insect, an inadvertent hitchhiker, that would suddenly march dramatically into view. After graduating, I spent several years trying to rediscover all that first drew me to botany-the captivating wonder of biodiversity, the physical connection to nature, and the peace and solitude of quiet observation. Traversing the southwestern United States, I worked as a biological surveyor and as a U.S. Forest Service botanist before settling on a graduate program in Quaternary Sciences. Barely a year in, I received a generous scholarship to attend a ring-making workshop at the Penland School of Crafts. Until then, metalworking had been my hobby, often interrupted for years at a time by various moves. There is something magical about the environment of craft schools-the vibrant energy, collaboration, and creative output. At Penland, the focus of being wholly immersed in making objects by hand was electrifying, and I decided to become an artist. I completed my MFA in Metal Design at East Carolina University in 2008 and moved to Tucson, AZ where I taught metalworking at Pima Community College for five years. In 2013, I became a full time studio artist, yet the pull of science remains ever strong, influencing every piece I create. I still roam the forests and mountains, contributing specimens for natural history collections. I live in Blacksburg, VA with my entomologist husband, Paul, a hyperactive dog named Andy, and the exceptionally spoiled cat, Babu. I am a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and the Enamelist Society.
More information can be found at the Enamel Arts Foundation.