I was born in Copenhagen, Denmark at a time when the birthrate was very low and, as a result very few kids lived in my neighborhood. My brother and I had to find ways to entertain ourselves. My mother saw that I was interested in the creative so at an early age she taught me how to knit and sew which became a lifelong interest for me and something that has been a nice past time but also a comfort for me over the years.
Prior to coming to the United States, I lived in Germany having married a service member stationed there. As part of the American military subculture in Germany, I first became aware of the strong interest in arts and crafts that exists in America. Once in the States, my favorite activity was to go to art fairs – something that I had not known in Denmark growing up. While Denmark is known internationally for its rich design culture, local artisans were not as widely supported and celebrated in Denmark as in America. Seeing this interest for locally made art, a dream was born that maybe one day I would be part of this artist community.
When I went to university, I opted for a degree in finance as a safer alternative to an art degree. However, after graduation while working in the finance industry, it became apparent to me that my chosen career choice was not a good fit for me. Looking at financial spreadsheets on a daily basis, I started dreaming of a life in the arts.
A few years ago, I found the opportunity to go to art school, and fulfill that old dream. I attended East Carolina University both as an undergraduate and graduate student with a concentration in metal smithing. Wanting to be closer to home, I transferred to North Carolina State University. While at NC State, I continued my graduate studies at the school of Art and Design with a concentration in textiles.
After attending art school, I’m now a full-time studio artist at Golden Belt studios in Durham. I’m mainly interested in textile and fiber art, but I also draw from my skills as a metalsmith. Recently, I am focusing in the art of making hats. I feel a sense of nostalgia in working with hats. It brings me back to my childhood watching old black and white movies. I was so fascinated by the fashions I saw in these movies from the early to mid- 20th century that I imagined living in those times where the dress styles were highly sophisticated with tailored clothes and matching hats. Working in an almost lost art also sparks a sense of nostalgia. Millinery used to be a lucrative and respectable profession. It took years to be trained as a skilled milliner, and as a result, hats were often pieces of meticulously crafted art that were highly priced. While many women still adore hats, the hats are mostly admired sitting in their boxes and rarely worn. Determined to educate people not only about the useful and practical nature of hats, I’m hoping to bring hats back by making people realize how sophisticated a person or an outfit can become just by adding a hat.