March 2012


Forklifts, Freightliners, five thousand pounds of fabrication table, these are a few of my favored things. I grew up in the world of manufacturing. I picked through waste bins, hunted beaches for rusty bits as much as for stones or shells, and was about three when I visited Watts Towers for the first time and still marvel at its mix of found objects and invention. Its influence on me was immense.

Buying "used" and "vintage" items has always been a more interesting method of accumulation and it allowed for items already imbued with history. It was a challenge to go on The Hunt and more gratifying to find something sought after in a garage sale or thrift shop (or dumpster and flea market) than to buy it new.  I came of age as the first Earth Day was celebrated and took reclamation and the conservation of resources seriously.

Today, with fabrication, found objects, and artful works at the fulcrum of my days, I can't ignore the confluence of events that brought me to produce METAL: a love of nature and the wish to do what I can to protect it and to conserve resources for future generations of fauna and flora; work in Tucumcari, New Mexico annually for some thirteen or so years (with a host of artists and casting enthusiasts) creating sculpture from recovered cast iron; a satisfaction in rallying people and of collaboration and the challenge of seeing what can be done with what is at hand (and who is at hand that has the will and the way to do what needs to be done). I am deeply gratified and moved by facility and by those that have a talent and aptitude and the energy to nourish such.

Back to forklifts, Freightliners and fabrication tables- these are the perquisites of METAL meeting the road but they are also the reality and the necessities for creating sculpture, finding and retrieving salvaged goods, and producing large scale works of the sort that John Daniel Walters and myself have a keen fondness for and attraction to. They are the fun and the means for a girl that thinks tough and free-spirited but is most skillful with matters of the mind over materials. At the end of the day I am more a heavy lifter of weighty visions than maestro of machinery.


A Love of Place

I have revered communities that I am compelled to return to. Not like the swallows of Capistrano- theirs is an urgency of procreation- but places and their people that afford me a sense of community and of kinship and, if I am fortunate, also consist of a beauty, usually natural, that remains restorative long after the sojourn is over. Two such communities for me are Tucumcari, New Mexico, and the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan. The first is high plains desert, the second the forested and feral terrains embraced by the curve that is Lake Superior.

One offers a "wrap around sky", as my friend Ruth Daniel has described the high plains, and the land of Lake Superior, everything from boreal forests to bald eagles and bear. Both afford me the sense of tribe, of being part of something that is both closer to the natural world and nourishing in matters of psyche and fellowship, in ways distinct from the place where I dwell and in ways that are unique to less populated communities.

I drive long hours to reach each locale just as I did this week to reach the shores of Lake Superior, where I am now, looking out on a bright blue lake and sky and taking pleasure in 68 degrees and my companions Janice and Fred and their haven of eagles, coyote, fox; and the most pristine air imaginable. Nature and kinship and respite from the habitual "oh, my".


A Change in Climate

There's the sort of climatic shift having to do with weather conditions and then the sort having to do with the navigating of human relations and mood, etc. We are in flux, the universe and its beings, understudies in continuous revision and incessant fine-tuning as both organisms and as a system. The fragility of protoplasm and the tenacity of it are both in evidence and the paradox wows me.

New patterns, new plants, new creatures evolve.

New arrangements in friendships, new frameworks, even new associations to old connections develop. Reorganizing ourselves with each experience and bringing to consciousness things both dormant and camouflaged is the point; or at least one point on this Moravian Star that I call my life.

Truly living is an equation for me that involves change, awareness, remaining current- and riding the currents that present themselves.



Spring Forward

I'm not in love with daylight saving time, the switching forth and back of clocks just as your eye and psyche adapt to the light and hour, but I can "spring ahead" with the best of you.

In the world of metal there is much springing. A remarkable collection of elements soft, hard, malleable and more. Metal conducts, it carries, it upholds, it fastens and bridges, and even biologically sustains. Too much or too little iron in our bodies will eliminate the spring in our step. I have a love of the material and a long kinship with the workers of metal: sculptors, engineers, scrappers and inventors. I co-own, with John Daniel Walters, a business named METAL. We are a design and fabrication studio and a gallery. We produce sculptural, utilitarian, and mechanical forms using digital and traditional processes. We re-purpose and reclaim objects, and design and produce with an eye on the beauty and longevity of the object. We marry functionality and splendor, and explore the inventiveness that is our human inclination.