Floridian • Enamelist • Educator
Enameling is the ancient art form of fusing ground glass to metal. I create
enamels often using the imagery of plants and animals to represent a reverence for the natural world of Florida. I embellish my imagery with many details and intricate patterns. Sometimes, my enamels become abstractions of the colors, shapes, and textures I find in the environment.
Every artist uses their own imagery to tell their story. I tap into my favorite
memories of growing up in tropical Coconut Grove near the bay in Miami, Florida. My father, a naturalist, worked for Crandon Park Zoo and Miami Seaquarium, and my aunt and uncle owned the Serpentarium.
As part of my childhood playground, I enjoyed feeding manatees, sitting on huge land turtles, handling reptiles, snorkeling, roaming the Everglades, visiting Seminole villages, and collecting specimens on the bay flats and mangrove swamps. In my home I was surrounded by various collections of fish, birds, reptiles, skulls, feathers, shells, orchids, and Indian artifacts. These early experiences have shaped my art and my interest in the natural world and environment. I keep these interests alive by exploring and kayaking the rivers, lakes, and coastline of Florida.
The art of enamel has captivated my interest since a 1975 college art class. This union of glass fused to metal can produce irresistible qualities of a gemlike surface, brilliant colors, depth in the glass and varied textures. I approach the endless enamel technique possibilities through methods of drawing, painting, printing, and collage. The glass powder is applied to a copper base which is then fired in a kiln up to 1500° F. degrees. Each enamel piece is developed in multiple layers and firings using a wide variety of enamel techniques. I will fire a piece approximately 5 to 20 times depending on the complexity.
This unique medium offers me challenges both technical and artistic. Enameling allows me to celebrate the sense of wonder and renewal that I find in nature's gifts.