My Dad introduced me to photography when I was in grade school and I was hooked. Surrounded by family members with artistic skills, I found the camera to be the instrument that let me do “my thing,” as I envisioned my subjects through the lens the way they would look as a painting. You would say I am a self-taught photographer, and I’m also an “online learning” fan as a school to learn digital image editing. Now that technology has opened newer doors for me, I can spend hours tinkering in the world of digital image editing.
As a self-taught continual experimenter I am currently creating quilted wall hangings. My designs are twists on traditional patterns, original sketches and photos reflecting the colors, textures and forms inspired by my North Carolina home. My favorite work starts with purchased fabric I manipulate by hand painting, sewing and embellishments to create the color pallet and look I desire for my designs. Most of my wall hangings are completed with free motion sewing on my Brother home sewing machine.
I graduated from UNC CH with a BFA. After taking a production pottery course with Zedith Teague Garner, I worked in her shop (Teague's Pottery) for 2 years. My husband and I moved to Ashe county in 1976, the first activities being to build a clay workshop and a wood-fired groundhog kiln. Over the next 25 years, I never grew tired of the wood-fire process; We did change to a larger down-draft style, though. I used a mid range stoneware, wheel thrown, decorated with figures brushed or etched through the slip.
John produces both guitars and lap dulcimers form native hardwoods, as well as open-backed banjos with a unique bell-brass pot. His dulcimers are in the traditional North Carolina, teardrop shape. All his instruments are one-of-a-kind and built to the playing preferences of their owner. The “off-cuts” from his instruments are made into a variety of woodenwares.
My forging experience began the summer of 2003 when a good friend of mine, woodworker and blacksmith, Jason A. Lonon, began sharing with me the pleasures of working hot metal. My efforts to learn were rooted in the self-reliance lifestyle I had taken on. My early projects included knives, hatchets as well as the obligatory wall-hooks and S-hooks. For a long time, I forged just for the experience, and took advantage of lessons, classes, and meetings in my area. I mainly forged products I could use in my daily life until I opened my own shop 2012 and started offering work to the public through festivals, craft shows and online sales. In 2016, I started developing several production items, and continued to forge custom commission works.
Growing up in the countryside of Wilkes County, I spent many of my early years surrounded by native plants, flowers, and wildlife. My parents were avid gardeners and nature watchers, especially of our wild feathered friends. My father, whose career was horticulture and plant science, immersed and educated me in the fine and fascinating details of growing fruiting and flowering plants and trees. My love of nature was planted early and has influenced my art throughout my life.
I have always enjoyed designing, creating, and building and from a young age my parents taught me about craftsmanship and the natural beauty of wood. I spent my Saturday mornings watching “This Old House” and “The New Yankee Workshop” on TV and these early lessons are constantly ringing in my memories.
I specialize in small production and one-of-a-kind pieces of handmade jewelry that is best described as simple, elegant, wearable jewelry with an eye for organic movement and feel. Living in the mountains of North Carolina, my jewelry designs are influenced by the landscape and natural organic shapes and colors around me. Designs emerge that are unique and elegant blending with everyday casual; comfortable like your favorite pair of jeans.