Landscape continues to have a subtle influence on my work. This stems from my childhood on a farm in Illinois where the horizon line was always visible and the texture and color of the land constantly changed with the plantings and seasons. As snow covered the land, only the essence of form remained. I attempt a similar approach to design, rejecting the extraneous and using sterling silver and karat gold sparingly to create brooches, which feature the beauty of natural stones and crystals.
I am fascinated by the linear imagery within rutilated and tourmalinated quartz and find that the architectural aspect of quartz stones cut by Tom Munsteiner relate perfectly to my aesthetic. The slashes, grooves, voids and matte surfaces are referenced in the planes of silver that I use to encompass the stone. By masking or covering part of the stone with metal I am able to change its format to integrate the stone with my design. My preferred color palette is white, yellow and black. Clear quartz and the angles and planes in silver constructions create perceived variations of white, as in a room’s interior or a wintry landscape. Accents of yellow from 18K or 22K yellow gold, topaz, sapphire or citrine relate to golden threads of rutile within a rutilated quartz stone, and black Micarta interjects a striking reference to the black lines of tourmaline inclusions in tourmalinated quartz. (Micarta is an industrial material made of resin-impregnated paper or fabric and is used in printed circuitry and for knife handles.) I also find inspiration in the artfully cut agates of Dieter Lorenz, and in recent years I have been attracted to the dynamic landscape imagery within specimens of black slate with inclusions of pyrite crystals.