My work is currently in transition. Most of my previous work was inspired by the post-industrial landscape of Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, and I strove to pay homage to the region’s blue-collar past through my use of both labor and materials. The region is scattered with derelict factories and hillsides covered in houses whose streets and alleyways are home to a rich patchwork of brick, paint, siding, and architectural details that suggest layers of history and personal stories. In my Streetview Series, I use etched steel and paint to meticulously recreate the essence of these details.
As the Rust Belt region has shifted from a reliance on coal, steel and manufacturing, remnants of that past have remained. Smokestacks, chimneys, and other masonry edifices are scattered like monuments around the region. These brick structures dominate both the urban landscape and the surrounding countryside. The Ductwork and Brickwork series of jewellery investigates the architecture of the post-industrial landscape and the metalwork within it. Using copper and enamel to imitate masonry patterns, and salvaged galvanized steel with a crystalline surface, I create abstractions of familiar architectural forms. I have recently begun to further distort the masonry theme, creating swirling patterns of bricks with liquid enamel on industrial surfaces.
I use salvaged metal from Pittsburgh to create my Ductwork series. Galvanized steel produced in the 60’s and 70’s has a distinctive crystalline surface and makes up a large portion of the metalwork in our everyday lives that we take for granted, such as guard rails, structural supports, and the ducts that heat our homes. I cut and fold the steel to create gem-like objects while retaining the familiar crystalline surface. These “precious” forms made from a beautiful, yet underappreciated material are meant to challenge the notion of what we value.
Recently I have realized that order, pattern, repetition and control are constants in my studio practice. The combination of precision and process has manifested as a new series, Order & Chaos, in which orderly, repetitive processes are subjected to an element of chance. These works reflect the desire for control, while accepting the unpredictability of chaotic events.