Becoming an artist was the last thing that I would have ever dreamt of becoming!”
As a child, I enjoyed science-based hobbies. I had a chemistry set and a microscope. I collected rocks. I even had several craft kits to make things. One of these kits was a hotplate enameling kiln with copper shapes and vials of powdered glass. Like most of my hobbies, I enjoyed doing this briefly and then moved onto new hobbies. I spent most of my time playing sports with my friends and then on a variety of teams in high school.
I did not know any artists and did not give art any thought. May parents did not encourage us to sing, dance, tell stories, or create. My goals were to succeed at school and then succeed with a career.
After graduating with a degree in Psychology, I began to think beyond a career (I didn’t see an obvious way to use earn a living using my Psych education). I began to explore my artistic side and while returning to my childhood home for a visit, discovered my old enameling kit. There were still copper shapes and powders and the kiln still worked. I started to play with it and then my life was turned upside down when I saw my first ever piece of cloisonne´ jewelry at a local craft show. I was so moved that I told myself, “One day, I am going to make something this beautiful”. The question of how to learn to enamel and to become an artist became my burning question; I’ve explored these questions for over 47 years as I created an enamel jewelry business and an enamel teaching career.
Over those many decades I’ve sold my cloisonne´ jewelry to craft stores and jewelry stores across the USA, attended some of the most prestigious craft shows, and taught numerous classes on enameling at guilds, conferences, and craft businesses. I’ve even used that dang Psychology degree as I taught myself “how to think like an artist” and make a change from “starving artist” to “affluent artist” as I struggled to overcome some of the many challenges on my journey.