i have made my life in the appalachian mountains . . . where the crafts and music abound naturally. mountain people all seem to have a gift of using their hands, many learning from family members or neighbors. in keeping with this tradition, i too learned from friends and family and then moved to the mountain region.
while learning layout and design through the application of quilt making, i felt that the two crafts could be closely connected. my desire to learn wood and paints began the study and discovery of my process that is used today.
by studying the past history of the game board craft i began to draw upon the " old ways", keeping with simplicity to the eye with the intention of use . . . designs are then kept simple, with many of the colors being drawn from my natural surroundings. many of the pieces original designs date back to the 1800's, and i have combined these designs with my original style to create a very unique and warm piece of the present and past . . .
using no electricity to create each piece, the high demand for my game boards pushed me to learn the use of modern tools, with the skills of a craftsman i am able to keep the integrity of a handcrafted object, merging the past with the present.
each piece that has been created goes through a 9-step process . . . and then is left to dry in the mountain sun to build a hardened finish.
my work has been shown numerous times in small publications and national publications including home magazine, old house interiors, southern living, early american life and country living magazines, as well as, appearing on mary emmerlings 'country at home.' after many years with sundance catalog as well as the j.peterman catalog, what quickly became a highly sought after collection could be found in galleries and fine retail stores throughout the united states, europe and canada including the american folk art museum in new york.
in 2007 i was hand chosen as the 29th guild member by country living magazine. the guild assigns this prestigious honor to american artists that are keeping americas past crafts alive.
after the many years of amazing growth and national recognition i made the move with my folk art to downsize and no longer sell on a commercial level....as i simplified my life to raise a family, i found that the creation of art is what i love, piece by piece and to be able to do that, you need time. time to create. with that came the obvious; less and less pieces created each year, in turn making each and every game board collected become more valuable in the future. my hope is to create pieces that are passed down generation to generation, a treasure loved by many.
each piece that is created takes approximately 3 weeks to complete. from the very beginning - to the end - many timely steps have been taken to produce this gameboard.
from the hand drawing and hand painting of each and every board (no patterns or stencils are used), to the very time consuming finishing process - numerous sandings - and added finishes - layered time after time to achieve the time worn finish. because of this intricate hand process, I am only able to make a limited amount each year.
the piece itself is made of baltic birch, brought from far away russia. the poplar molding is grown in the appalachian mountains. and with this wood comes the many hands that have touched it so that I am able to complete my craft. my handprint appears on the back of all of my work, as a reminder to all of us that it takes many to form completion.
i realize many of you are collecting my work and forming a gathering of boards in your homes, whether for the beauty or for use.....you are truly receiving a one of a kind piece of art and I will continue to bring my best work to you to pass on to future generations...
if you would like to look for inspiration on grouping game boards together, please look at the column to the right, "groupings to display" and check the "gameboard grouping" and" inspiring homes" areas for ideas...