From my home overlooking the historical Bitterroot Valley in western Montana, I pursue my passion of turning materials from nature into unique one-of-a-kind creations. As a fifth generation Montanan with a heritage from the ranch lands and mountains, I am in love with the west, the warmth and allure of the talented people who live here, and its rich cultural heritage.
My fascination with the hard shell gourd began in the year 2000 while visiting family in Tucson. Never having seen anything like them, I was quite taken by the elegant shapes, and rich colors. More exciting was their connection to the southwest designs and Native American peoples I have been intrigued with since my early childhood. This interest serves as an inspiration for much, but not all of my artistic interpretations.
My work with gourds began with simple designs and techniques. It was an exciting process of discovery to learn that each gourd was unique in itself, its hardness, its color, its texture, and how it would accept the various dyes and stains I was experimenting with. As such, I have grown to respect and honor each gourds control over its final outcome. Today my work is many layered and complex. I meld intricate pyro-engraving, carving, beadwork, and basketry techniques using unique natural materials and traditional rattan. My designs flow from one gourd to another. Some similar, yet different, no two gourds are ever the same. Beads, leather, and botanical materials are carefully selected as finishing embellishments.
I continue my search for interesting materials, new ideas, and processes to incorporate into my work. Creativity, quality, perfection, and releasing the mystery of each gourd is my journey.