Bend was a great place to grow up. I didn’t realize this until I left and went to college in Savannah Georgia. I instantly missed the fresh mountain air and dry climate. Savannah was a beautiful, fun, crazy and scary city to move away to for my 5 years of art school. As much as the city was a joy I heard my hometown calling to me the whole time I was away.
My parents moved to Bend in the early 80’s. From their stories there was not much going on in this small mill town. There was a recession, my father just bought an irrigation company, they had a new baby, and things were tight but they made it work. This was where they wanted to be. They are still living in the same house 36 years later. I think about the drive they had and the focus to keep moving forward when things were tough and know this is in my blood and history. I can do it too. To build my life upon a dream I’ve had a for as long as I can remember and persevere when things get tough is all part of where I came from.
Now that I call this place my home once again, I love exploring the abundance of beautiful things in my own backyard. Of course this can only happen with a dog or two tagging along.
Central Oregon has a distinct and beautiful smell. Is that weird to say? Home to me is juniper and sage. It’s everywhere and a sight that soothes my soul. The juniper comes out on a rainy day like it’s cleaning the dry air and giving our lungs a fresh start. On hikes I like to rub sage leaves between my hands and take in the clean and spicy smell. I’ve picked sage before and dried it in my oven to use as smudge sticks. My whole house smelled like yummy sage, but the smudge sticks didn’t work so well.
A lot of my work has been described as minimal, and elegant. I love the beauty of metal, and in a way my everyday jewelry is an experiment with what metal can do without the use of stones. How can I show the simple beauty of the metal itself? Maybe this is a subconscious idea coming from the simplicity of the desert? Or I am just a metal head. I do love playing with stones and taking inspiration from the stone itself and infusing a little bit of my surroundings to play with the metal that supports the stone.
Making this work to me is a true expression of myself and where I come from. The west is embedded in my soul. It’s wild, and free, dusty and spicy. It’s mystical and bold no rules, no boundaries, simple and quiet. I love it here.