Born of the earth, it is not surprising that I am a collector of nature’s treasures…stones, shells, seeds, and insects, to name a few. My collections are diverse and they date back to my earliest years. My interest in beads is more recent. First attracted to a relative’s bead collection, I was quickly lured by their beauty and their history, both in how they represent centuries of the human spirit, and in ancient civilizations’ appreciation of nature. Beads are the oldest art form known to man, even preceding cave drawings. It fascinates me how simple items of nature evolved into items of adornment and legal tender. For thousands of years, beads were traded from person to person, village to village and eventually. continent to continent, joining people and blending cultures around the globe.
Many of the beads used in my pieces have been worn innumerable times. The pitting and wear on the surface of trade beads is a testament of their age. Not only do beads connect people to other geographical regions, but beads connect people to the past. When I integrate trade beads into my necklaces, I feel like I am symbolically channeling the lives of those who were drawn to and loved these beads as much as I. It is an honor to bring them froth from their static, shelf-life existence, back into the beating pulse of life. Old trade beads are quickly becoming scarcer. These beads and necklaces are a financial asset, and will continuously gain value.
Born and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, I was blessed to be allowed to follow my spirit, and to listen to the artistic voice within me. My summers were spent at the family cabin, where my brothers, sisters, and I explored the beach, river, and woods from dawn until dusk. My best teacher was Mother Nature, endlessly patient with my prodding, poking, and digging, unselfishly presenting herself to me, and most importantly, never judgmental! She taught me well.
My formal education includes an Elective Studies degree from St. Cloud State University, where I selected an emphasis in the sciences, botany and ecology. I took many drawing, photography and creative writing courses, as well. I also hold a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, where I studied geology and other earth sciences. Finally, I hold a Masters of Education degree from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse. In addition to my artwork, I am a Wisconsin middle school science teacher, where I continue to share my love for nature and humanity with my students.