Where are you from and did art always play a big part in your life growing up?
I have always loved to make things. I grew up in North Carolina and I spent many days outdoors making art out of pine cones, mud from local creeks and building forts. Girl Scouts was a big influence and not only taught me the art of cooking over a fire with foil but reinforced my love of the outdoors. In elementary school I often helped create new bulletin board art for my teachers and my crayon box with a built in sharpener was my most precious possession!
I learned to sew by osmosis, watching my grandmother piece together patterns for most of my school clothes. We had many fun days at the fabric store choosing colorful fabric for my next pair of shorts or for my new Easter dress!
Tell us a little bit about you. Where did you study and what led you to the path you currently are on?
I studied graphic design and advertising at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta and worked in that field until I moved to LA. In LA I became involved in fine art, photography and teaching art to children. I enrolled in a sculpture class and our first assignment was to make an assemblage using found objects. I found myself drawn to thrift stores and intuitively started collecting things that symbolized my Southern upbringing. For my project I combined discarded objects and fabric scraps into sort of a patchwork quilt style. This was the beginning of my use of vintage and recycled objects.
What's your main focus currently and/or how would you describe your current design aesthetic?
My main focus lately has been working with vintage textiles. I come from a family with a history of quilt making and sewing; it’s engrained in my psyche and keeps showing up in my work. I love using objects that have a past history; worn fabric, objects that have been loved for many years. I love to combine these fragments with contemporary painting and embroidery to make what I like to call "modern heirlooms".
What artists do you admire or who inspires you?
Self-taught artists such as Howard Finster and Bill Traylor who used everyday materials in their art. The Gee's Bend quilt makers of Alabama. Contemporary artists such as Cy Twombly, Grayson Perry and illustrator Maira Kalman are favorites as well as documentary photographers Walker Evans and William Eggleston.
Where else do you pull inspiration from?
My collection of found vintage photographs inspire me. I am inspired while out hunting and gathering for vintage objects. I am hugely inspired by the nature around me and get many of my ideas while out walking my dog Pippa. Manhattan is also a continual inspiration.