Inspired by the beauty and simple elegance of nature, I love to play with all the rich tones and textures of leather and other organic elements, such as: antler, ancient ivories, bone and handmade natural fiber papers.
Straight out of high school, I began working for blade smith, Daniel Winkler along with my aunt making knife sheaths and bags. She became his partner, and when he was asked to make the knives for the main characters in the film The Last of The Mohicans, I watched in amazement as their career took off and the very real possibility of making a living as an artisan made a lasting impression on me. I took a few craft classes in college and after graduating from Appalachian State University with a degree in Third World Studies and Sustainable Development, I backpacked off to Guatemala where I lived for a year as an international accompanier to an indigenous refugee community. I was deeply inspired by their co-operative model, and I returned to Boone flat broke with no car and no idea of what to do next. I was tickled pink to find that in my absence a local craft co-operative had moved to town within walking distance of my house! Suddenly my path was clear…. I joined the gallery and have been making my living as a leather artisan ever since.
I have done everything from “pig on a stick” to high end art and craft shows, to music festivals and wholesale shows. My work was featured in the Orvis Catalog for 5 years, and I am now mostly focused on selling my one of a kind bags and journals in a few small galleries and online while I also build my production line of corded deerskin lanyards and bracelets. I also recently began teaching leather classes through the ASU Craft Enrichment Program in the same rooms I took classes soooo many years ago!
I’m a mountain girl through and through and feel blessed to finally be settled in Blowing Rock, NC, the place I’ve always called home and where my family goes back many generations. Whether it’s hiking, gardening, getting in wood for the winter or just sitting on the front porch, my favorite place to be is outside breathing the fresh mountain air. I officially have a teenager now and caring for this planet for many generations to come is of the utmost importance to me. You can go to my website to see more on the leathers I use and the organizations I support. I give thanks for your interest in my work, my community and the opportunity to do what I love.