A brief bio
I’ve been making dog, cat, and equestrian sculpture and jewelry for over 50 years. I started out making little clay animals in my grandmother’s pottery studio when I was a child, and I still remember the breathless excitement of opening the kiln on firing days and seeing my work magically transformed.
In the 1980s, we had a craft gallery in the Virginia horse country. It was through some of the member craftspeople that I discovered lost wax casting. To me, metal has all the magic of fired clay. But there’s the added sense of awe that the piece I’ve created could be around thousands of years from now, outlasting not just my short life, but perhaps even our civilization.
For the past several years, I’ve focused on jewelry, which I see as small wearable sculpture. But last winter, I made an Irish water spaniel door knocker on a whim. It’s been wildly popular, and I now have door knockers at some stage of development in several more dog breeds, along with a cat, a fox, and a horse. I’ve put my jewelry on vacation, and am now focusing on door knocker, doorbell surrounds, and other small animal design hardware and functional pieces.
Beyond the thrill of seeing my ideas take a form that will last many human lifetimes, sculpture and jewelry allow me to connect with other people who love their animals as much as I do. And that takes me to places like dog shows and horse shows, where I can be around my favorite creatures and soak up the ambiance of those worlds.
The dog show world has always been part of my life. As a child, I made do with whatever dogs my family and neighbors would let me train or haul off to dog shows. I put obedience titles on the ones with papers, including my grandparents’ Toy Manchester Terrier. I started showing Pointers when I was in college, then bred and showed Pembroke Welsh Corgis for many years. That somehow led to acquiring a couple of Border Collies, then a flock of sheep, and finally a Maremma livestock guardian dog. But when my last corgi died, I decided to have a new adventure. Willa the Irish Water Spaniel is now the love of my life. Then when our quest for a second water spaniel met with some roadblocks last winter, we adopted a rescue Aussie puppy.
So the dogs are getting bigger as we approach retirement age. I’m on my last horse and my last bird, and the cats are getting old. But I have a feeling that I’m not to the end of my dog story. Or my creative story. I’m excited to see the next turn in the road.