Welcome to my website! I've been working with silver since 1996, but my grandma had me working with my hands since I was three years old. I've always been artistic, and in the last few years I've added creative writing, bellydance, chorus, and oil painting to my list of hobbies. This diverse background seems to add richness to my work. I've also studied blacksmithing, enameling, raising, advanced stone setting techniques, and historical jewelry from around the world. My favorite style is Art Nouveau, and Renee Lalique is my favorite jeweler. Recently, I've been inspired by Japanese metalwork, especially cloissone'. As you will see, I am fond of insect, aquatic, and floral designs, though I became known for classic designs, like turquoise butterflies. When perusing my site, please bear in mind that by the time I get a piece professionally photographed and added, it is usually sold already. If you want to see my work in person, the best way is to attend one of the shows I participate in. I am happy to take special orders***, though right now there is a 6-12 month wait. Quality takes time. I like to give the jewelry my best self, so I like to let a piece evolve at its own pace. If there is some special occasion, like a birthday, anniversary, or holiday, feel free to e-mail me and I will e-mail photos of what I have in inventory. I usually have some pieces on hand, and I can ship it out as soon as I can. I do take credit cards, though for cash or check I'll waive sales tax in New Mexico. Thank you and enjoy your visit!
***Most pieces, except for rare turquoise, can be reproduced. Since I only used natural turquoise in the past, often from now depleted mines, I now use Cripple Creek turquoise for classic butterfly/dragonfly/earrings/bracelets. Cripple Creek is a mine in Colorado that yields naturally very hard, blue rock. Most (I estimate 98%) of what is called "turquoise" on the market is treated with resins, acrylic, dyes, electrochemical processes(very hard to detect), is reconstituted (powder mixed with plastic and dye, like Spam), or is just glass/plastic. You will see I use a variety of gems now, and I like to use natural stones as often as possible. Though in the case of rubies, sapphires, and pearls,it is almost impossible, since rubies/sapphires are typically heat treated. Pearls are typically bleached/ dyed. It's hard to avoid the bleached ones, but if I suspect a pearl has been dyed, I won't buy it. Peach or lavender pearls are usually the natural color, however. Where ever you buy jewelry, ask about the stones.
As a child, the only adult who was kind, loving, patient, and accepting with me was my grandma, Nina Wallace. Fortunately I lived next door to her from kindergarten to fourth grade, and she was my lifeline. This photo is one of a handful in which I'm genuinely happy as a kid. She was a nurse, and also loved other cultures. I used to lay in bed with her and she'd tell me about the books she was reading. "Hawaii" and "Shogun" were favorites of hers. In fact, she was the only adult who liked to read. A few times she took me to the Japanese Gardens in San Francisco, and fed me rice crackers and bought me a book of Japanese stencils. I found another copy of it and I still look at it now, even using the designs in jewelry. She really "saw" me, and always got me little presents, like stickers or books that I actually liked. Both of my parents were very angry, abusive, critical, and controlling, and were usually trying to shape me into something I wasn't. I've lived most of my life feeling like I'm fundamentally flawed and bad, but there was always this bright little voice that was clearer and stronger than my internalized parents, and that kept me from giving up. It took me a long time to see that voice was nurtured by Grandma.
The only things I was praised for by my parents were art and blind obedience. For some reason, arts and crafts were the only positive thing they could impart to me. So of course, I grew up thinking art and being a doormat were the only good things I had to offer, and that I was a screw up otherwise. What rubbish. In college I got straight A s up thru pre-calculus, geology, anthropology, and automotive technology. Just for the hell of it. Since I turned 30, I've discovered yoga, (which really helped me lay off the alcohol) Pilates, Aikido, creative writing, acting, directing, and belly dancing. I still ended up in very controlling, destructive relationships and situations, but I managed to get to this point in spite of it all. It's been a long, tough road, and I've had to do a lot of internal work so that I can be free of the destructive messages ingrained in my psyche, but there's a glimmer at the end of the tunnel. When I was 31, I took an acting class with Vanja Aljinovic, who became the kind, patient, adoring father I'd always needed. He was a grown up, the opposite of what I was used to. He loved teaching, and was very accomplished in the film industry. Vanja respected me and loved my writing. In spite of having MS, he never complained or expected others to wait on him. In fact he insisted on doing as much as he could himself. Tragically, on Valentines Day, 2011, he passed away suddenly. He will always be my hero. I think he and Grandma would've gotten along great. .