Glass and Steel
I work with stainless steel, carbon steel, and found mechanical parts to make garden art and sculpture, including gates, trellises, and fountains. I find inspiration in many places. Nature, of course, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral! Traditional Japanese design draws me like a magnet with its brilliance, beauty and tranquility. Many artists’ work is moving and inspirational to me, although I am particularly fond of the creativity and irrepressible spirit of Kandinsky, Matisse, and Klee.
I still love to make things and learn more about metal with each project. Working with found objects has also opened up new territory for me and I’m delighted by some of the unpredictable results that these wonderful machinery parts have brought to my work.
When I was a kid, I loved my Tinkertoys – the wooden ones, of course. They felt good and had simple but interesting shapes. I loved both putting things together AND taking them apart. I remember an old clock that I was allowed to dismantle and how I was mesmerized by all those shiny little gears and springs…
The seeds for a deep appreciation for tools and hand made objects were planted early in my life. My father was a carpenter and built the house we moved into when I was six years old. When I was four and five there were many weekends that I got up at daybreak so I would already be in the kitchen eating breakfast when he came in for coffee before going to work on our new house. I would sit at the table not saying anything - just swinging my feet and eating my cheerios while I watched him. He would pretty much always fold and take me with him for the day. These were my best childhood days – handing him tools or picking up dropped nails and putting them back in the kegs. My father knew how to use hand tools so well that the rhythmic sound of sawing or even hammering had a pleasing quality.
Fast forward many years to 1987 and my first art class – six weeks of stained glass at an adult education center. Aha! I fell in love with glass, quit my day job, and spent the next 20 years working with glass – stained glass, sculpture, furniture, jewelry, and clocks. When I reached the clock phase, I began to incorporate metal into my work and discovered another intriguing material that I wanted to learn about and work with.