As one can see, I am completely captivated by the natural beauty in the world around me.
My love for flowers was encouraged from birth by my paternal grandmother Viola Goodwin Keeth. Her yard was always full of flowering succulents and exotic cacti with exquisite blooms. Every time we visited her from as early as I can remember she would send me home with cuttings from her plants.
My love for jewelry making and beautiful stones was instilled at an early age and developed with the help of my maternal uncle Lavern Walters who had a rock shop and lapidary equipment that he taught me to use. When I attended Granada High School in the late sixties I was on an independent study program which allowed me to spend most of my junior and senior year in the art room.
My teacher, Mrs. Bonnie Toy, allowed me to try many different mediums but jewelry making especially the lost wax process was and still is my biggest love. Mrs. Toy introduced me to the process of casting organic material – a process that has captivated my imagination ever since. She also introduced me to ceramics both hand building and throwing on the wheel.
In the early seventies, I started using small pieces of cactus skeletons in my castings. Yet, it wasn’t until the early nineties when, at Northern Arizona University, that I started casting orchids and insects. I was immediately hooked and have been perfecting the process ever since.
I grow most of the orchids and other exotic flowers in my greenhouse which satisfies my love for growing beautiful plants and flowers as well as allowing me to select the blooms at the peak of their beauty for casting.
Also, I frequently cast insects and use them as part of collectible chess sets. It is amazing to me the intricate detail that can be easily seen when they are cast in silver.
Having had the change to live in the rain forest near Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is a dream come true. Since childhood I have been growing exotic plants and flowers, especially orchids, ferns and taro. I was always trying to create a tropical paradise wherever I lived trying to capture the beauty in one form or another.
When I developed the process we use for casting our orchid jewelry (the lost orchid process) I didn’t think things could get any better until moving here to Hawaii where we were surrounded by wonderful people and some of the most inspiring beauty in the world.
It is so exciting to see the blooms in silver or gold and incorporate them into pieces of jewelry or sculptures to share the beauty of Gods creation with others.