How did I get started?
I am not formally trained in art. I worked 32 years as, first the Communications Teacher, and then the Director of Outreach at the Kansas School for the Blind. Through all my years of schooling and years of attending workshops, I was constantly doodling. My notes and calendars would be covered with abstract designs.
I am not formally trained in art, however, I have always been involved in creating things and took great satisfaction in discovering people liked the things that I created. At nine years old, I made and sold loom potholders in Chicago (one for fifteen cents, two for a quarter) and hired neighborhood children who got a cut of the "profit". In high school and college I made braided cord purses and belts...it was the hippie era. As a young teacher, I made beaded name bracelets and supplemented my salary and my young family at craft fairs. I sewed my own clothes and my children's clothes and learned to knit intricate sweaters.
Then I discovered glass. In 1998, I gave my husband (and myself) a stained glass class in Kansas City. I worked with stained glass for a few years, but I wasn't satisfied with the unforgiving nature of the process. I needed to have more freedom with the glass. My husband actually did the soldering on this piece as I was Frustrated with it. It's a bit wonky.
We spent a few days in Barcelona in 2012, and I am in awe of Antoni Gaudi and his mosaic work. He was an amazing architect and artist.
During a visit to Estonia in 2009 to see one of our foreign exchange students, I took inspiration from a painting in a museum and created one of my first larger pieces, which I called "Estonian Fish."
Following both of these trips, I had renewed motivation for my work
I received the Emerging Artist Grant in 2013 from the Region Two Arts Council in Bemidji. As a part of a grant, I was able to mentor with an Amazing mosaic artist in Tyler, Texas. Cassie Edmonds spent two days with me, giving me a chance to see her work and learn from her. An incredible two days! I came home and started working with small tiles and designed this coffee table.
Cassie Edmonds' studio
We now split our year between Bemidji, Minnesota and Georgetown, Texas (where, of course, I have a office-turned-into-studio).
Recently, one of my designs appeared on CBS Sunday Morning.
I am not formally trained in art.....but I'm learning along the way...