How did you start doing jewelry?
I'm actually a social worker, and a certified trauma therapist in private practice. I love my work, but I've also always been a creative person, and it felt like that was missing from my life. About a year ago, I had to repair the floorboards in my apartment, that my puppy chewed up. I loved the feeling of working with my hands, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I went back and forth about whether I wanted to take a wood working class, or a metalsmithing class. One day I talked to my friend, Megan Isaacs (at Flux Work), about it and she offered to become my teacher. We'd end up spending 12 hours at a time at the studio, and after the first day I fell in love with it. I owe so much to Megan. She's been so generous to me, and she's incredibly talented.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I'm inspired by architecture and sculptures. I really admire Zaha Hadid's work and the way she used curves. Her work is bold, and powerful.
What would you describe as your design style?
Since I'm still new to designing, my style continues to develop with each piece I make. Overall, I like minimalist jewelry but I need to feel excited about whatever it is I'm designing. I feel bored if I create something that feels too simple, or lacks uniqueness. I'm realizing that I'm drawn to interesting, or exaggerated shapes too, so if I make something that doesn't quite feel like me, I experiment with changing the overall shape of the piece.
What is your favorite piece of jewelry you have made?
I'm currently working on a ring inspired by a ring my mother gave me growing up. She bought it in the 1960's, so it feels like it has a lot of history. I've had it for over a decade, but I've only started to appreciate it more recently.
What is your most favorite piece of jewelry that has been gifted to you?
I inherited my mother's gold wedding band. My parent's had very little money when they married, and my mom wasn't interested in a diamond ring. Instead, she went to a local jewelry designer, designed a gold band, and had them make it for her. It's a thick band, with beautiful curves and since my mom designed it, it's one of a kind. I never take it off. In a way it's become a part of me.
What is the most satisfying part of the experience of making jewelry?
I love working with my hands! As a therapist, my work with patients can be very gradual. It's rewarding, but with designing and making jewelry, there is a beginning and end. Seeing the final product in front of me is really satisfying.
Do you have a favorite tool?
I love using the torch. It kind of makes me feel like a badass. I also love polishing each piece. It's really exciting to work so hard on something, and then have that moment where it all comes together.
What do you appreciate most in your friends?
My girlfriends feel like my sisters. They're all very supportive, we can fight and make up, and I know they're not going anywhere. I can be myself with them, confide in them, and they make me laugh like no one else.
What are your favorite places to go in the city for inspiration?
I love people watching. There are so many diverse, beautiful, and creative people all over the city, no matter where you go.
Your favorite motto?
From childhood, and into adulthood, my mom always said to me, "Be afraid and do it anyway." I still repeat that to myself when something scares me, or feels like a challenge. I was afraid to start metalsmithing because I thought, 'what if I fail?' But I've learned it's ok to be afraid, as long as I don't let my fears hold me back from trying something new, or something that will help me grow as a person.