"For ubiquity, convenience, resistance, endurance, strength, cost, texture, pleasingness, delicacy, perfume, and softness, paper has no rival."- Institut d'Histoire du Livre.
My passion for handmade paper grew out of bookbinding and a desire to create book blocks of my own paper. Soon, experimentation took me beyond the book arts, and I left bookbinding behind, choosing to work exclusively in handmade paper. As an expressive medium, paper is welcoming, generous, and forgiving; the texture and color can beautifully reflect an almost infinite variety of fibers, inks, and processes. It can be refined and elegant, or it can be crude and pedestrian. Paper gently seduces both the artist and the observer.
Since beginning a dedicated studio practice in handmade paper five years ago, I have installed several well-received solo shows in California and the Northwest and have been juried into prominent international paper arts festivals and national exhibitions, receiving recognition and awards for the quality of my work. My art graces the living spaces of collectors across the nation including homes in California, Michigan, and Washington.
I feel blessed to wake each day to explore the endless dimensions of handmade paper. As a medium, paper never disappoints. It never lets you down.
My inspiration is the vague boundary between brokenness and wholeness, the uneasy tension between order and chaos, and the poetic coincidence of beauty and coarseness that characterize the human experience. I am compelled to both create and destroy, to take apart and reassemble.
My process mirrors these oppositions: it is driven by impulse but tempered by self-restraint. I thoughtfully create paper from natural fibers, recycled material, and small organic matter. Then, I destroy it.
I spray it with ink, soak it in wax, tear it by hand, and cut it with razors. It is subjected to heat, held under weights, pierced with wires.
Yet, moved by the inherent fragility and vulnerability of this medium, I compassionately and imperfectly reassemble the parts into my own ironically beautiful Frankenstein.
My focus is on the complexities and intricacies created as paper is transformed through inelegant, forceful manipulation. The scale of my work is an invitation to intimacy, permission for the observer to closely examine the exquisite scars born from the forces that played upon the paper. The color, texture, construction, and composition of each piece tells that paper's individual story. I want observers to acknowledge the brutal beauty of that story, seeing not just the paper's innate vulnerability but its noble defiance. The end goal is not for my pieces to elicit mere appreciation for the awkward loveliness of the paper's damaged imperfection, but instill real empathy for it's inherent power and dignity, and by extension, the power and dignity of our frail human imperfection.
My art seeks to sound a universal chord by representing the way we humans survive the forces that attempt to destroy us: we bravely put ourselves back together and in doing so discover our capacity for faith and fortitude. Influenced by my own story of devastation and rebirth, it celebrates indignity, repentance, reintegration, and latent optimism. My art ultimately comes not from making paper, but from putting it back together.