Q: Why didn't you answer my email? Are you a horrible human being?
A: I receive many, many emails. If I were to sit down and answer every single one, I would never go outside, I would never make anything in my studio, I would never write anything, I would never take any photographs. Sometimes I can answer your emails, depending on my email workload and the amount of time I can afford to commit to computer work, other times I cannot. Sometimes I can answer emails immediately, but more often than not, it takes me a few days, weeks or sometimes months to get back to people. I used to feel awful about not being answer all the beautiful emails that come my way but now I choose to be realistic about it. If you sent me a really lovely note of encouragement and I did not respond, please rest assured that I did read it and it meant the world to me to know you were thinking of me and that you took the time to reach out. If you were emailing me a question, I hope this list of FAQs will answer that question for you!
Q: Do you do custom work?
A: I am not currently doing custom work. I may do custom work again in the future! I will announce it if I am taking on orders. For the time being, I do not feel I can serve you in this capacity. Forgive me.
Q: Where can I buy your work?
A: I sell it all directly through my Etsy shop and I am represented by one gallery in the Methow Valley of Washington.
Q: I went to your Etsy shop and there is nothing in it. What's up with that?
A: If there is nothing in my Etsy shop, it means I am currently sold out of everything and you need to hang tight until I make more jewelry.
Q: Where did you learn to make jewelry? Which college/university?
A: I am a University drop out by way of 3 different schools. While I did take a basic silversmithing college class while I lived in Arizona, most of the techniques I employ in my work in the past and present are techniques I have taught myself or stumbled into by simply messing around in the medium.
Q: Can I take a silversmithing class with you?
A: My approach to silversmithing (and all creative work, for that matter) is almost entirely intuitive. I'm not sure how to teach that. So I do not offer classes. My apologies.
Q: What tools are in your metal studio?
A: I really like to fabricate jewelry. I've done enameling work in the past and some sand casting, but what I really love is to take sheet metal and wire and carefully cut out tiny things that build a bigger piece and tell a little story. This is what I have always loved to make. This is what I focus on. The tools I have and use in my studio reflect this: torch, bench pin, hammer forming stakes and hammers, rolling mill, wooden and metal daps, disc cutter, mandrels and flex-shaft. There are many different ways to make jewelry and these ways employ very different tools. Take a basic silversmithing class or two or ten and find out what tools you like to use and what kind of jewelry you like to make and then outfit your studio from there. Art is about what YOU like. Make your studio about what YOU like.
Q: What kind of camera do you have?
A: I have a Canon 6D, a Canon 5DMiii and a Fuji x100t. I prefer the 50mm lens and the 24-70mm lens. I also began shooting film again in the winter of 2015/2016 and am using a good old Pentax 1000, just like I did in high school.
Q: How did you wind up doing photography work for magazines and brands in the outdoor industry and hunting and fishing industry?
A: It was rather unintentional. I usually tell people I have been practicing the craft of photography since grade 7 but the other day, I realized it has been longer than that since my Baba (Ukrainian for "grandmother") gave me my first camera (a little pink and black point and shoot) when I was in grade 2 or maybe even grade 1! I've been using a camera for a very long while. I've never put a lot of thought into what I do with a camera I've always simply photographed the world around me and the details in it that I find beautiful. I've documented my life with a camera for so many years that I guess I have a genuine and unique enough voice with this medium that my work got noticed and companies began to offer me paid work. I work mostly on spec and continue to shoot for companies that match my lifestyle so that I don't have to set up fake shoots or pretend shots of gear in action in the field. I am simply doing what I have always done, except now I get paid to do it, sometimes.
Q: How do I go about doing the same kind of photography work for magazines and brands in the outdoor industry and hunting and fishing industry?
A: Well, I don't really know because my approach with this work is a bit unorthodox. I would tell you that whatever you do in life, you should do it because you love it. If you love to fish and you are a photographer, you should photograph fishing! If you love to backcountry ski and you are a photographer, you should photograph skiing! If you love to bake and you are a photographer, you should photograph baking! I have seen people take up hobbies in order to be able to photograph that hobby and it makes for flat meaningless photography and furthermore, the individual quits the hobby 90% of the time. It's wasteful. Figure out what you love and photograph that. You may not ever get paid for your pictures, but your pictures will be honest and beautiful and they'll probably have a unique look, if you shoot according to your own aesthetic. Best of all, your images will hold meaning for YOU. Do what you love. Shoot what you love.
Q: You are in a lot of your photos. Who takes these photos of you?
A: I specialize in self-portraiture. I have been a self-portraitist since grade 7. If someone else ever takes a photo of me, I try to remember to give that individual credit for the image if I use it in any of my spaces. If you see me in a picture that I have taken, you may assume that that is a photo I took of myself 99.999999999% of the time.
Q: Say what? You take all these "selfies"? Are you a narcissist???
A: I don't think so. If I was making these pictures because I thought I was the most beautiful woman on the planet, then yes, I might be a narcissist. I actually think I am really quite weird looking. My nose is crooked. I have wrinkles. I rarely show my actual face in my pictures. I am actually quite shy about how I look. The real reason I make self-portraits is because I usually venture out solo when I am outside. I could focus on landscape photography but I think adding a human form to a landscape gives a wild space a sense of scope, meaning and context — and those are my words, no one has ever told me to think this or to say this about photography. Self-portraiture is also a bit like keeping a written journal — it's a way, outside of words, to capture the feel and emotion of a time and place and person.
Q: I like your clothing. Where do you shop?
A: My tastes are eclectic. I maintain that if you want your clothing to be interesting, get it from all kinds of places! I shop at thrift stores, antique stores, consignment stores, import stores, this weird spot in Twin Falls that has an Anthropologie and Freepeople clearance section, Gap, Nordstrom, tiny privately owned boutiques in mountain towns…I have a little taste of everything in my wardrobe and my style changes day by day, week by week.
Q: Can you tell me your top five necessary things you always take in your backpack on day hikes or overnight jaunts?
A: A down jacket, knife, lighter, journal, pen and a headlamp.
Q: Why are there so many photos of guns and dead animals here (I am deeply offended.)?
A: My husband and I hunt most of our meat ourselves instead of buying it from a grocery store or local butcher. We need animal protein in our diet so this is our way of getting it for ourselves. I photograph our hunting escapades because I believe it's a beautiful, meaningful way to get some of our food, it's also a true part of our life so it ends up being documented because I photograph most EVERYTHING about our lives. I also photograph my garden and the veggies I grow for the same reason. I am not a sadist. I take hunting very seriously. I take all my food seriously. If you cannot understand the way we choose to eat or if you find you are still offended by the guns and harvested animals in my photographs I would suggest that you no longer follow my online spaces. I wouldn't want to put you off your feed.
Q: I am passing through Idaho, what should I try to see?
A: It's a big, wild state. This is a very general question. Make a list of the kind of things you like to do and then figure out where you want to go from there. This state has a wealth of natural hot springs, wonderful fly fishing and rafting rivers, backpacking opportunities, lakes (Redfish, Coeur d'Alene, Payette), big mountains for peak bagging, snobby mountain towns (Sun Valley), one big city (Boise) for lots of live music and brewery options, massive wintering grounds for shed hunting….etc. There's also a lot of wind open space in this state if you simply like to drive and then hop out of your rig and explore national forest or BLM land. The options are endless! Come to Idaho and do what you love to do.
Q: Where are you from? How did you get to where you are?
A: I am from Canada. I grew up in the four western provinces but most of my family is in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and that's the place I ultimately call home. I met Robert when I was 18 and living in New Zealand. We eloped in Reno, Nevada three years later. I came to the USA and acquired my green card (I am not a citizen of the USA, I am a citizen of Canada, I am a green card holding permanent resident of the USA). I've been in the USA for 10 years. Robert and I have lived in Alaska, Northern California, Arizona, Idaho and Washington. In March of 2016, Robert was offered a position at the McCall Idaho smokejumper base and now we are living in Idaho, full-time, and working hard on setting down some big fat roots in the state we call home. This is it. We have arrived.