I was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania in the early 1960s, the youngest of seven children. “Youngest of seven” is more than a label. That phrase has been part of forming my identity. I have made decisions, socialized, partnered, parented, and worked as the youngest of seven. I design and create hooked rugs as the youngest of seven.
The earliest influence on my artistic work and worldview were my parents and siblings. My mother had at least 2 craft projects going at all times. My father came home from work every day to make something or to fix something that didn’t need fixing. I learned to follow patterns from my brothers and sisters, their spouses and children.
I learned to design my own patterns around the same time I began overlooking rules of all kinds, in making things, in parenting, in religion. I learned to think unconventionally during my career as a pediatric oncology nurse and nurse educator. The concepts of uncertainty, loss, compassion, and balance are represented in my art, physically and metaphorically.
When I returned from a visit to the Elizabeth LaForge Gallery in the Museum of Hooked Rugs & Home Life in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia, in 2000, I searched libraries, artisan centers, bookstores; everywhere I could think of to teach myself this little-known fiber art. The techniques in traditional rug hooking are not difficult, so I quickly moved from self-taught novice to amateur exhibitor. By adding layers of experience and education from talented mentors to those novice days I moved on to designing patterns, dying wool fabric, and creating commissioned pieces. I have created over 40 original hooked pieces from decorative small squares to floor rugs for the home.