Artist Statement

Child Kathy with Snake

Enamel is an ancient art form of fusing ground glass to metal. My enamels use recurring elements of fish, birds, reptiles, insects, blossoms & plants. Intricate details lead the eye into the heart of the enamel. These images are personalized icons representing a reverence for the natural world. Through my enamels, I celebrate the sense of wonder and renewal that I find in natures gifts.

When I create, I tap into my favorite memories of growing up in tropical Coconut Grove, Florida. My father, a naturalist, worked for Crandon Park Zoo and Miami Seaquarium, and my aunt and uncle owned the Serpentarium. As part of my childhood playground, I enjoyed feeding manatees, sitting on huge land turtles, handling reptiles, snorkeling, roaming the Everglades, visiting Seminole villages and collecting specimens on the bay flats and mangrove swamps. In my home I was surrounded by various collections of fish, birds, reptiles, skulls, feathers, shells, orchids and Indian artifacts. These early experiences, so embedded in my memory, have shaped my art.

Kathy and Her Sister Riding a Tortoise

The art of enamel has captivated my interest since a 1975 college art class. This union of glass fused to metal can produce irresistible qualities of a gemlike surface, brilliant colors, depth in the glass and varied textures. I approach the endless technique possibilities through methods of drawing, painting, printing, and collage.

When I enamel, I usually apply the glass powder dry to a copper base which is then fired in a kiln up to 1500 degrees. Each enamel piece is developed in multiple layers and firings. I will fire a piece approximately 5 to 20 times depending on the complexity. This unique medium offers me challenges both technically and artistically.