Tell us a little bit about what you do - could you go into detail regarding your business?
I’m a Sacramento-based artist, creating mobiles and wall hangings made of sheet metal and tubing. I’m partial to the warm reflective hue of brass, but have been experimenting with copper lately.
How did you get started on this creative path?
About 7 years ago I took a series of sculpture and small metals classes at marin college.
I initially filled my shop with jewelry creations from my small metals class at that time, but after a few years experienced a transition to go bigger. I realized I didn’t have an affinity to jewelry-making, but to the material itself. The wall hangings & mobiles were then birthed.
Metalworking in particular is stereotypically a male-dominated field. Have you ever felt like a bit of a trailblazer in that regard?
Honestly, I haven’t given it much thought. I’m mostly trying to keep my head down and make what I want to make and do what I want to do. It’s pretty rad to think about that, though, thanks!
Your designs are just gorgeous - do you sketch them first, or just go for what feels right?
Thanks so much! I do sketch from time to time when stuck on a plane or on a roadtrip, but I mostly love to get on the floor and shift around the shapes until something pops. I predominantly rely on the organic process of working with the material until it feels right.
I'd love to hear more about your creative process when you're in the studio. What does a typical day look like for you?
I try to get into the studio at the beginning of the day, but with a 4 year old in the house, sometimes it’s hard to get in there. Once I’m in work-mode, I’m either starting new designs on the floor, shifting the pieces around until I land on something I’m happy with or I’m checking to see what made-to-order pieces need to be made. My process looks like either hand cutting shapes or using repeated shapes that I’m able to cut out with my brother’s CNC machine (trying to slow down that carpal tunnel!). I then will drill holes, file the edges and dump the pieces into the tumbler to smooth out. After a couple of days in the tumbler, I sand the pieces to a brushed finish, coat them with a natural wax (for longevity of finish) and string them with chain or wire, using varying sizes of jump rings.
Do you ever find that self-doubt plays a role in your creative career? If ever you're feeling low, what do you do to pick yourself back up again?
Self-doubt tends to come in whenever I’m pushing myself to do something that scares me (which I’m trying to a lot this season). Once I get out of the house, though, I’m able to get a clearer perspective and confidence. There’s something about riding my bike or getting out in the trees that tends to reset my anxiety. Fresh air does wonders.
Do you have any big plans for your business in the future? What's on the horizon for you creatively?
I’m really excited to go big! My goal this year is to work on an installation piece.
If you could give advice to other young women creatives just starting out, what would it be?
Do the work. It’s not magic to create a successful handmade business. It takes doing it and constantly “shipping” work ( meaning you are constantly creating and putting out work) and not waiting for it to be perfect. It’s all a process that builds upon the previous.
Some of my favorite pieces have come from putting out work that wasn’t the strongest, in order to get to a design that I loved. It’s all a process.
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