There is something about copper that appeals to me, although I’ve yet to put my finger on it. The earthiness? Organic feel? The richness and depth of color? While I can’t pinpoint what it is that calls to me, I can say that I’ve fallen in love with copper – the textures and colors will never get old.
My interest in metalsmithing dates back to the 1980’s when I was a school teacher on the Navajo reservation. I was lucky enough to have a Navajo silversmith as my teaching assistant, and I oohed and ahhed over the pieces Evy brought in to my classroom. I so wanted to dive in, to get my hands dirty and learn how to make those wondrous things.
But I also wanted to travel.
I knew from the get-go that the tools and equipment necessary for silversmithing were not a good match for a nomadic existence and, in the end, the travel won out. I started beading instead.
Beadwork was good for me, and I have fond memories of chasing after beads in markets and bazaars across the globe. I reached national prominence with my beadwork, having been featured in Bead & Button, Beadwork Magazine, and Belle Armoire.
But still… that dream was there. Hiding in the cobwebs of my brain. Lurking. Lying in wait. And when we moved to Boise in 2011 with the intention of staying for at least five years, I figured it was time to pull that dream out, dust it off, and learn to work with metal.
I haven’t regretted it yet.