BIOGRAPHY

I was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1968. I studied architecture and art history at Barnard College and went on to earn my Masters Degree in Architecture from Columbia University in 1993. After graduation, I practiced architecture in New York City, first with Buttrick, White & Burtis and then with Aldo Rossi, Studio di Archittetura. During this time, I began to study classical and modern jewelry technique with Giovanni Corvaja, Tamiko Ferguson, Lisa Spiros, and Cecilia Bauer. I started my own architecture firm in 1999 while continuing to train in metalworking. Captured by the expressive potential and evocative power of design worn on the body, I decided in early 2000 to practice jewelry-making full time.

I approach jewelry design as an architect, working with structural elements of metal and stone to create spaces and forms from the forces of tension and compression. Like an architect, I draw on canons of order and style to give shape to ideas only partly captured by words. And like an architect, I depend on the texture, weight and color of my materials to lend nuance and emotion to all of my designs. Structure, style and substance work together in my pieces to present simple forms, set against the body of the wearer, that draw the viewer visually, kinetically and tactilely into deeper layers of interest.

Shifting the scale of my design from buildings to small objects allows me to take full control of the design process. I begin with the most basic materials: pure gold, platinum, silver and precious stones. I alloy my own metals to vary their color and working properties, draw my own wire, forge and join all elements, and hand-finish each piece. In this extended process, my design ideas are tested, revised and re-tested, and from it emerge pieces that, like buildings, are unique in conception and fabrication. But also like buildings, my jewelry—an architecture for the body—is not complete until it is inhabited, set in context, and given personal meaning and value.

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