Nj says that after many years of jewelry casting and fabricating, the shift to larger pieces seems a natural progression. Her work in steel with ceramic or stone elements is fabricated in her southeastern Arizona studio.
“I enjoy discovering and exploring new materials to use in combination with the steel and love searching for rusted metal treasures to add to tables, dividers and mirrors,” she says. Her inspiration comes from the forms and colors of the desert and the multiculturalism of the people of the Southwest.
Sketches are translated into welded steel utilizing tubing and rod that is bent, or sheet metal cut and formed. Or, she explains, “I sometimes just start with a heap of weird rusty parts and start welding.”
The welded metal pieces are then ground and sandblasted prior to patinas being applied. The patinas are applied hot or cold and colors are layered by brushing, sponging or spraying; then the pieces are sealed, waxed and buffed. Most finishes are suitable for outdoor use with some maintenance.
Nj produces the birdbaths to function in an outside environment. “Production of the ceramic bowls became necessary to complete the birdbaths,” she adds. “I hand build the bowls and have begun sculpting ceramic elements to add interest to other pieces.” The bowls are glazed with colors to complement the bases and fired at more than 2,000 degrees F for durability.