What do you feel makes your work unique and truly your own?
I began creating natural jewelry years ago, when my husband's family decided to sell their beloved cabin above Poudre Canyon. I looked for a tangible way to hold on to the memory of the property, and began collecting small, beautiful artifacts that, when placed together, reconstructed a story about the cabin and what it means to be nourished by a place.
Since then, I have used my craft as a way to polish my experiences in nature --juxtaposing materials possessing their own, divergent stories to create a piece with a single, unified future. I have seen that everyone finds their own meaning in these pieces--whether through attachment to the physical locations housing the raw materials, the sentimentality of a kind of wood or stone, or the mere tying together of different histories. Thus, each piece is as unique in form as it is in meaning.
What sort of things inspire you? Where do you look for inspiration?
A good, old fashioned walk in the woods is the best inspiration, but particularly when I have a thought-provoking book by my side. Nature writers like John Muir, Wallace Stegner, Ellen Meloy, and Terry Tempest Williams have a way of illuminating the seemingly mundane aspects of our relationship with the world and making them instrumental to our understanding of it. My work operates in similar ways, encouraging both me and the wearer to reconsider what we know and feel about our natural surroundings.
When do you feel the most creative?
Walking in the woods outside my house in Breckenridge is the surest way to get me excited about creating. I love finding gnarled pieces of deadfall and wondering about the grain patterns that lay inside. Any time I'm out collecting lichens, too, I am anxious to be back in my shop, pairing them with new woods to see what makes each specimen come alive in a new relationship. The process of creating is equally exciting, allowing me to pair wood and lichens based on their complementary organic patterns.
Where can we learn more about you?
My website, www.thelichenist.com, is a great way to learn about the materials I use and why I get so fired up about them. Follow me on Tumblr @thelichenist to gain insight into my daily inspirations and creative process.