“What gives your jewelry such a special look?”
I sometimes hear this question in regard to my work. One basic contributing factor must be my home town, Lindsborg, Kansas, U.S.A. No ordinary little community far out on the prairie. Lindsborg was settled in 1869 by Scandinavian immigrants, most of them Swedish. They were passionately interested in music and art; one of the first things they did after building their own homes was to establish a college, where cultural studies were given high priority in the curriculum. From my earliest childhood, it was as natural to learn to play violin and get informal training in jewelry-making from a local artist as it was to participate in the yearly wheat harvest. Divergence and broad interests strengthened the wholeness of things.
At the University of Kansas, my music and gold- and silversmithing studies continued, combined with studies in English language and literature. Interestingly, I found that these apparently very different areas of study complemented each other. They all are concerned with details and overview, requiring the ability to keep a balance between them. Just before graduation, I received a Fulbright study grant for postgraduate studies at the Royal Goldsmiths’ School, in Copenhagen. My years there broadened my technical skill and taught me a streamlined use of form.
I continue to combine the various – often apparently conflicting – elements from my interests and artistic background. I use not only precious stones and metals, but also wood, feathers, beach pebbles, shells and fossils, creating pieces of jewelry whose characteristics are implied rhythmic movement, elegance and “the unexpected”.