"Re-Collections" is the culmination of my life experiences. I have always been a collector of objects because their history fascinates me. When in an environment, I innately catalog memories by collecting physical objects that inspire me. My work has become a filter for the landscapes and locations I have come in contact with over the past 25 years. I compare and contrast any new place that I experience to my birthplace, a small town in Illinois nestled in the bluffs of the Mississippi River Valley. I have a strong connection with my childhood home and strong ties to the community there. As a child, my family took numerous trips to national parks and rich landscapes such as Mesa Verde, Olympic Park, Yellowstone, Yosemite, the mountains of North Carolina, and many others. I would gather rocks, glass, old bottle caps, and other debris with the impulses of a naive but spirited collector.
Over the past three years, I have experienced Northwestern Pennsylvania as my residence. I continue to travel as often as I can in my adult life. Traveling is a way for me to reconnect with the spontaneity and curiosity of my youth. In these places, I seek out other collectors and artists to assist me in finding inspiration and native items. Quiet moments and objects that I experienced in these places are presented in my newest work. The differences in all of the environments I have encountered captivate me.
The materials that I choose to work with are found at many locations and through interaction with others. They are a way of recording and cataloging a trip through tangible regional objects. The acquisition of these objects is part of my research for this body of work. The communication between myself and those around me helps to strengthen my ideas and inspirations. I started this series by studying fossils and the matrixes in which they are discovered. I mimicked these through different resins and found objects. Throughout this series, I have continued to find new materials to express these landscapes and quiet contemplations: dried seahorses from China, feathers from my parents' house, objects from beach walks, ancient fossilized amber.
Wood has become a main material for me to express my ideas as it represents time that has passed. It also represents life and growth as I continue to grow as an artist and as an individual. Wood gives me the volume and weight that I wish to achieve with my jewelry. I combine many exotic and native materials to create my jewelry. Many of my materials are found or recycled which brings a level of eco-consciousness to my work. I am interested in the carbon footprint that each animal or human leaves behind. Also, I like that these objects already have their own history and stories to tell.
My jewelry is autobiographical, though I don't always recognize this at first. It is a way for me to materialize the world I have experienced. I can take my environment and hold it in my hand, allowing me to better understand my surroundings. I continue to seek out new people and places to inspire my jewelry and concepts.