who i am
My work is all about transformation and discovery…
transformation of the wood from a rough board to the final object; my personal transformation as I struggle with the details to pull off my latest crazy idea; discoveries I make as I start working with a particular board; and discoveries my audience makes when they start exploring my pieces. I create objects that are dense in details and I want people to delight in them — the colors, the textures, the satiny-smooth feel of the finished surface.
I started woodworking when I was in high school at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science. There woodworking was taught out of the art department and wasn’t considered a shop class. This is where I developed a love of wood and tools and working with my hands. I even won some scholastic competitions. After high school I earned a degree in Biochemistry from the University of Kansas. I spent most of my corporate career working as a chemist. Even though I no longer had access to woodworking tools, I always seemed to find construction projects: a deck or a dock or a garage. Eventually I got to help build a house. Then my husband and I built our house. We did a lot of the rough-in work and almost all of the finish work. When we started trimming the house, it started feeling like I was back in high school — a little more artistic consideration is needed when choosing trim styles, wood, etc. Then we built wooden counter tops and walnut hand rails. I didn’t want the edges of either of these to look like they’d come off a production line, so I spent many hours with a spoke shave contouring the edges. I wanted them to look and feel like someone had run their hands over them a million times! So while building the house I went from pretty rough work (framing) to pretty nice work (trimming) to really nice work (counter tops and hand rails) and it renewed the passion I have for wood. A few years later, several seemingly small events occurred that made me take the leap from a relatively secure, well-compensated corporate job into what has become my new life: creating beautiful objects out of an amazing raw material.
Although I am largely self-taught and spend lots of time experimenting, I have complimented my knowledge with formal classes. I have studied at Anderson Ranch Arts Center and completed the Masters Program at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. I have taken a wide range of classes including Design, Joinery, Finishing and many more. I owe much gratitude to my mentors, Michael Fortune and David Polivka, for guiding me and answering an untold number of questions. I have also had the great privilege of interning with both. Finally, I offer my thanks and love to my husband, Rick, for supporting me on this journey!