I was born in rural Virginia. At 8, I moved with my family to the remote Quaker community of Monteverde in the tropical mountains of Costa Rica. There we walked barefoot to school, hauled goods and people on horseback, and thought nothing of cooking dinner on a wood stove when the erratic electric power was out. Life included pie socials, building bees, few cars, no TV, and Christmas gifts made by hand. If things broke, you fixed them, if you needed something you didn’t have, you created it out of what you did have or did without it. From this up bringing I inherited a delight in the engineering puzzles of inventing and building, and an easy patience with the general processes of making things.
Growing up, my hands were always busy with embroidery, crocheting, weaving, and other fiber arts. I received professional instruction in painting and drawing as well, but only discovered metal work and jewelry when I moved to Seattle, Washington in 1996. Early in my experiments with metal I gravitated to chains. I find chains appealing as the unruly stiffness of wire is transformed into flexible, portable, and comfortable structures of satisfying weight. The manual dexterity gained from decades of handwork and needlework served me well, and translated nicely to linking and knitting with wire.
Today I still live in Seattle, now writing articles and teaching classes on chain making, with work showcased in numerous books & magazines.