After completing that first shiny, silver ring in a silversmithing class in England all those years ago, I never wanted to do anything else. I had found my passion and eventually my career. Of course my other passion was being mom to my two children, but the jewelry making kept me sane. The kids have since left home and have families and careers of their own, but fabricating silver and gold jewelry remains steadfast to me and I now have the privilege and opportunity to pass it onto others through classes and workshops.
Who am I?
I grew up until I was 14 just outside of Philadelphia then moved to Florida where I graduated from high school. I went to college in New Jersey, lived in Boston for a couple of years then found myself in London, married with a couple of kids. I traveled a lot during those ten years I lived abroad. I still love to travel and do often. My daughter and three grandchildren live in Kent, England and my son and his wife live in Denver, Colorado. I'm married to potter, David Voorhees (www.davidvoorheespottery.com) and work and live in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I have a large jewelry studio where I teach workshops throughout the year (please see my "Workshops" page for the current schedule).
What’s up now?
Well, I got divorced and moved back to the States. I brought all my jewelry making tools and the kids with me and set up shop in a bedroom, a tool shed, and a livingroom. (I now have my very own free standing studio). I worked full time at a museum but continued to make jewelry and even taught a class on the side in the evenings.
Now, this is the best part of the story (and it’s true!). The kids had left home. I sold my house in Florida. I quit my full time job and sent myself off to Penland School in North Carolina to take a jewelry class entitled “Design for Survival” taught by the renowned jeweler, Thomas Mann. Not only was this the springboard I needed to start my own jewelry business, but I met my future husband, potter, David Voorhees. I have since designed a line of jewelry which I call “Jumping for Joy”. David was very instrumental in helping me to develop my own jewelry business. I moved from Florida to North Carolina, opened a gallery with David and we were married in 1997. I became a member of the prestigious Southern Highland Craft Guild in Asheville, NC in 1997.
Making and Teaching
A theme runs through my work: Nature, textures, patterns, dimension, movement and beach pebbles. I work primarily in sterling silver, designing and hand building each piece from scratch. I paint patterns on brass plates, acid etch the plates, then transfer the patterns onto silver with the use of a rolling mill. I love boxes and hinges. During my travels throughout Europe and the States, I’ve found hundreds (thousands really) of tiny river rocks and beach pebbles which I incorporate into much of my work. I rarely use precious or semi precious stones as I find pebbles more pleasing.
They say I have a knack for teaching and I love the notion of passing on this ancient technique to others who have found silversmithing to be their passion as well. I hold nothing back. I share all I know. I teach and explain as I would like to be taught. Hands on has always been the way I learn best and I find this to be the case with most of my students.