Born and raised on a little island in the Seattle area, I spent my childhood drawing, sewing, picking blackberries, learning to cook, reading, and riding my bike. I definitely liked doing things with my hands! I headed to Chicago for college (BA Psychology, Northwestern University with minors in art history and literature), then graduate school (MBA Marketing, George Washington University) with a career in advertising and marketing the arts in mind.

After several years in corporate life (Ogilvy & Mather Advertising in NYC, the Gillette Company in Boston) concurrent with showing my artwork in galleries, I realized my life was much happier in the studio than in the meeting room. So I switched careers and ever since have been happily creating, evolving, and marketing my own artwork from my home-based studio. I’ve been doing this for over 30 years now.

After living and working all over the country, I returned to Seattle where my home-based studio looks out on the beautiful Mt. Rainier.

How I Make My Art

Wire Baskets blend traditional basketry and wirework techniques. All are hand-shaped and use only wire in the weaving process (no forms/glues/solder). Baskets range from purely sculptural to functional, from small (fist-sized) to very large (48” height). Favorite wires include bronze, copper, annealed steel, stainless steel, nickel and brass in a range of gauges, along with the occasional spool of vintage telephone wire, weed whacker cord, speaker wire, and reclaimed manufacturing wire. Most baskets incorporate vintage beads and found objects that are woven in during construction. Vintage beads are generally obtained from old jewelry.

Wire + Paper Baskets, Jewelry and Sculpture use a range of papers, from vintage French dictionaries to exotic handmade papers from Asia, playing cards to Japanese manga, catalogue pages to old maps. If I can cut it with scissors, I’ll use it.

Wire Jewelry is made from hand shaped, hammered and/or wrapped wire using cold connections (no glues/solder), often embellished with vintage beads, marbles, and papers. Bronze, stainless steel and annealed steel are my favorites for making necklaces, earrings, brooches, and bracelets.

A Peek Inside My Studio

Sylvester is my kitty who loves to play with wire, sit on top of whatever I’m working on, and sleep in a too-small plastic bin. When he’s awake, he likes to help by playing with the wire I’m using. We share this bin because it’s the perfect shape to hold baskets in place as I make them. Sylvester likes to help by playing with the wire I’m using.

The Kaleidoscope Basket in progress (left): the wire structure is built, the heavy paper is in place, and the next step is to add colored paper. Every color of paper has its own tub, which helps me see color combinations.
My Life as a Necklace in progress (right): the found objects are chosen and wire outlines of each shape are made and hammered. I use two layers of outlines for strength. The double outlines will be wired together first, then the objects wired in. The last step is linking all the sections together.
Colorful paper (left) is being cut into narrow strips for the stripes in the Color Theory Earrings.
Some of my wire (right). Annealed steel is the black wire, stainless steel is silver and gray wire, bronze and brass are golden colored. There’s also copper, plaited tinned copper, and vintage electrical wire on the top shelf. The small spools are each 1 pound of wire, the larger spools 5 pounds. Each spool of wire is a different gauge or thickness. I use a very fine thread-like wire to add the seed beads for the cherries on the Flying Cherries Purse (left).
Lots of pliers and paper in my studio (below)! I have lots of bins holding rolled up tissue papers, Lamali and Unryu papers, and other specialty papers.
And beads! I harvest most of the beads I use from vintage jewelry. Jam jars, boxes, and plastic bins hold found objects. Everything is sorted, with one type of object in each container. Egg cartons are great for storing tiny found objects. I prefer clear tubs because it’s easier to see what’s inside! Under the egg carton is a clear tub that holds only watches. Books are used for their paper, too. Japanese manga and kanji, scores of music, dictionaries in French, botanical listings, and maps are just some of what I cut out of books to use in my artwork.