Jewelry: Garden Badge Series

I am fascinated by the sentimental value of old badge collections, and the memories they provide long after they are worn. The enameled garden badge pieces were made in homage to my mother and the garden club she joined in the rural town where I grew up. I received my first formal color and design lessons from her as I learned to arrange flowers while a member of the Junior Garden Club. The women in this small town would gather monthly, meeting with armfuls of flowers and greens that were spread over tables. These badges pay tribute to their efforts to create and formalize a time in their lives to celebrate beauty, community, and friendship while also expressing my ongoing inspiration from nature.
I’m intrigued by what kinds of badges I would identify myself with as the adult person I’ve become, not only what I would wear now, but what would be left behind for some future relative to pour over in a long forgotten jewelry box. I would want them to find flowers, leaves and branches of silver and blossoms of delicately painted glass, and to remember that I wore and made them to keep them alive in my life… that in the midst of the technology, the construction and destruction of this world so often at war, there is beauty to be treasured.


The personal, narrative nature of the work I make in metal triggers my interest in the use of graphics and color. Rather than using drawings as only design ideas for pieces, I often transfer them directly onto metal, preserving their spontaneity, line quality and color. Inspired by ancient Greek pottery, this challenge has led me to an ongoing investigation of various techniques for metal surface embellishment, including kum boo, acid etching and enameling. Though the representational meaning of the surface drawing is not always evident to the viewer, the imagery references moments in my life.
Summers with my family in the mountains inspire the vessels, “Rabbit Hop Road.” The drawings were created by my children when they were young, transferred to the “cups” photographically, then etched and enameled. My favorite part of the process is painterly, working with the many ways that enamel can be layered and fired to create rich, and luminous surfaces. Though taken out of the context of utility, it is important to me that the pieces function, that they could be raised in a toast to celebrate the memories that inspire them.


These pieces were simply an enjoyable way for me to work out design ideas quickly and experiment with enamel color, surface texture and form. They are intended to be functional, gracing a table with sensuality and compassion as friends converse, or lighting an intimate space.