I was born with a creative gene. There is no other explanation for the unquenchable desire to create that I have had since childhood. Even as I pursued my career in nursing I spent my few free moments making candles or embroidering my jeans. A trip to San Francisco introduced me to the world of beads from which I have never fully recovered. I began to make jewelry and thought I had found my passion. Once I entered the realm of motherhood my creative gene took a slight turn and began to emerge in photography and painting. Although I never abandoned my interest in making jewelry, 20 odd years were spent studying and developing my decorative painting and photography skills.
Fortunately, I passed the creative gene on to my oldest daughter, Shannon, who with many other accomplishments, has blossomed into a skilled lamp work artist. About 10 years ago I became so inspired by her unique glass bead creations that I decided to narrow my focus to making jewelry that incorporated her beads. I began working with wire and spent several years developing wire working skills which in turn led to taking metal working classes. This opened up another avenue for me. I now have honed my metal and wire working skills – blending my daughter’s artistry with my own. My ideas for metal fabrication and form often originate with Shannon’s beautiful creations. Further guided by skilled artisans who generously shared their time and talents, I established Sunroom Studios where our jewelry is designed to reflect a sense of beauty, balance, and integrity. My goal is to make jewelry that is unique and delicate but functional and, most importantly, inspirational.
Teaching my skills to others is a very fulfilling and exciting way to share creativity. Teaching has become a new passion for me. As I became more experienced in a class room setting, it was important to me to enable my students to create professional jewelry without having to invest in a multitude of tools. Therefore, many of my classes teach the necessary skills to create jewelry pieces using a minimum number of tools and allow the students to work at their kitchen table.
Several of my projects have been written for trade magazines with a desire to awaken those creative genes that may be dormant in others. As my students’ level of skill increases, I am inspired and challenged to keep offering the newest and most innovative techniques available. Every new creation requires many hours of perfecting so that I can teach this latest endeavor. Nothing brings me more pride than to see a student wearing a piece displaying the creative skills they have applied during one of my classes.
It has been a brilliant journey, being able to share it with my daughter is any Mother’s dream.