© Five Crows, Natick Center / September 2012
(Blue Bus Studio)
I grew up on a wilderness coast 24 miles north of Juneau, Alaska. There were whales in the front yard and bears in the back and wild beauty everywhere. Now, as an artist, those vivid, natural colors inform my work.
My jewelry is completely handmade using numerous ceramic and metal techniques. I even use the new three dimensional modeling technology and 3D printing to create the originals of my framed pieces. The extreme detail and intense color in my ceramic work results from the use of over 500 different colors of clay in a technique known as millefiori (also called neriage). In this technique, carefully designed loaves of clay are formed from colored porcelains. Next, cross-sections are sliced from the loaves, and these sections are shaped and finished into individual pieces. After sanding and careful finishing, the piece is glazed and fired.
Thus, the color you see in my work is the color of the clay itself, deepened and enriched by a layer of pure glass. On many pieces, 23+ karat platinum edging is applied, and the piece receives its final fire. I make beauty from dust–a joy for me and, I hope, a joy for you.