A question has been asked, "How did you come to develop your clearly defined style? What inspired that signature style?"
First, I should describe what I consider my "clearly defined style"... Simple, refined geometric forms, clean line and kinetic elements (especially abacus-like ones) are an integral part of my "signature style."
I have always been drawn to geometry, minimalism and mechanisms. I believe that growing up in a steel mill town played a huge role in influencing this design aesthetic. I took in the everyday sights, like factory architecture, freight trains and the lattice of bridges, with a child’s wonder-filled eyes. All of this sparked my own creative industry, which I now express through my jewelry design. Like the gears and rails that inspired it, my jewelry is geometric and much of it has moving parts.
Bethlehem Steel's mills along the Conemaugh Rivers, Johnstown, PA
The kinetic aspect of my "signature style" was brought to life while I was studying jewelry at Tyler School of Art, during a project in which we had to design a piece of jewelry that attached to the wearer in a non-traditional method. I created a brooch that used a series of sterling gears and rubber rollers in which the wearer's shirt fabric rolled between the rollers as a means of attachment. After that project, I started to explore the concept of kinetic jewelry and how the wearer could interact with it. The last few months of my studies were devoted to creating large rings with playful, movable elements, entitled "Nervous Habit Rings." Once I graduated, I began scaling down my ideas to appeal to the consumer while still maintaining the kinetic base.
Incline Plane, Johnstown, PA
I entered the marketplace in 1994 with my kinetic designs...but didn't feel like I had my "signature style" down yet. In 1995 I made my first "Abacus Bracelet." I continued to build on that design and that is when my "signature style" finally took a true hold. Although my designs are constantly evolving, I still feel like all of my work has a consistent and "clearly defined style."
Abacus Bracelet #1
For more stories about inspiration and signature styles, please read these blogs, whose authors are posting on the topic on June 5 -6, 2009