I never dreamed that I would become an artist.
I had no interest or talent.
Most of my time was spent playing ball games with my friends: football, soccer, basketball or any sport which allowed me to jump and run. I love being outdoors and climbing trees. My hobbies were more science- oriented. I had a microscope, a chemistry set, and a dissecting kit. I did have an imagination; I wanted to be a FBI lab technician and pretended that my silver lunch box was my "fingerprint kit". I filled it with talcum powder and scotch tape and searched my home for "fingerprints". This was before CSI, but my years of watching Elliot Ness and the Untouchables in the early 1960's would surely prepare me for a life of solving crimes!
The only art experience I remember was when I was playing with a beginners oil painting kit for the first time I attempted to paint a portrait of my younger sister. Not exactly the simplest task for a beginner, but what did I know? As I struggled with my canvas, my brother laughed, my sister cried, and my mother said "Don't do that anymore!". And that was the end of any artistic aspirations I had as a child.
It wasn't until I graduated college with a Psychology degree and no prospects for a job that I decided to begin "exploring myself". I started reading Plato and Thoreau, and when I visited my parent's home I discovered the copper enameling kit I had played with for probably two weeks when I was a child. I packed it up, brought it home with me to where I was sharing a house with college friends (who were attending graduate school to become bankers, lawyers, and businessmen). I set up a small enameling studio in our laundry room and began the lifelong journey of teaching myself to enamel.
My life has been a series of twists and turns as I've transformed myself from hobbyist to enamel jewelry artist, business owner, and now enamel art teacher. The one constant along this journey are the questions I ask myself as I explore who I am and who I am becoming. If you study enameling with me, I will challenge you to ask yourself these same questions.