I began my career in jewelry-making about 1992. Jewelers work at a desk referred to as a bench—a jewelers’ bench. I was already working at a bench, as a judge in a courtroom. I sometimes refer to myself as a Bench worker.
As a teenager, I had an opportunity to study art in Mexico City and became enamored with pre-Columbian Art. Then, as a college student, I went to Scripps College, in the Claremont Colleges, and majored in Art History and fell in love with medieval art, particularly manuscript illumination. Following some travels, I went to law school, graduated, practiced law, and was “appointed to the bench” in 1979 when my 2nd son was only 5 months old.
Following a serious accident my 2nd son suffered when he was 11, I really had to do something more physical than sitting and listening to trial testimony. I began to take classes in metalsmithing in the evenings, and a new passion was born.
Metalsmithing requited cutting, sawing, and hammering. It was perfect! I loved it and continued to pursue evening lessons and weekend workshops until my husband died in 2008. Then I stopped for about 9 years. Now I am back with renewed energy.
My earlier work focused on ancient techniques of cloisonné enameling and chasing and repoussé. My latest work has focused on color and texture. Both late and early works are inspired by all of my exposure to art, such as stones, carvings, the color and brilliance of the manuscript illumination, and the beauty of early work in silver and gold. As a retired judge, I am finding more time to do metalwork, primarily jewelry.