I think of my jewelry as an intimate form of communication, a message to one's self that one wears – a talisman, or charm, or a link to an inner world. I like to use images and words that have personal significance to me, but are open to multiple interpretations – that leave the wearer free to interpret significance and symbolism for themselves, as they choose.
For me, a great part of the beauty and fascination of this work is the chance to examine and compare the different beliefs, traditions, folklore, and superstitions of different peoples, and to incorporate them in my work as a part of my vocabulary. I was born in the U.S.; my father is Korean and my mother is Caucasian, so I grew up very aware of cultural contrasts and similarities. From the ages of 8 to 12, I lived in Hiroshima, Japan, and that experience stays with me always.
I love hearing from customers what meaning a particular image or phrase has for them – and why it has that significance. All art is, in my opinion, an attempt at communication. If I can evoke a response in someone, then my work is doubly satisfying.
I am not formally trained as a jeweler. I majored in film and latin in college, and spent years in retail sales, owned a toy store, and sold antiques for 13 years before I finally found my vocation. My mother is a potter and I had worked with her off and on over the years, but never really felt that I could make the clay say what I wanted it to. When I began taking jewelry-making classes at a local Atlanta arts center, I felt that I had finally found my voice. I believe that everything that I have done in the past has been in one way or another a preparation for my work now.