I grew up in KS and always had particular interest in two things: nature and art. Much of my childhood was spent roaming around the pasture and pond, looking for rabbit nests, tadpoles, or spoiling my Morgan horse. Visits to Grandma Honey’s were always special. I loved sitting at the table, banana bread in hand, watching songbirds feed at her kitchen window feeder or playing Uno. I'd often venture out the sliding glass door in search of flat stones to become canvas for magic-marker masterpieces.
As I grew older I heard about art as a therapeutic tool and went to school to earn a Master’s degree in Art Therapy. My post-collegiate career path went in many directions, from mental health counselor, to horse facility manager, to case manager, and working for the National Park Service and the National Audubon Society. Part of my frenetic work history coincided with a nomadic lifestyle in CO, UT, OR, WA, NC and a few places between, all of which offered wonderful escapes into nature, which has remained my artistic focus.
There were some periods where I wasn’t creating much at all, but many makeshift “studios” traveled with me on those nomadic journeys. Aside from basic sculpture class in school, I didn’t know much of the world of ceramics. Somewhere along the way I discovered art tile. Was it my uncle’s handmade Mexican tile? Was it my employer’s one-of-a-kind, hand painted tile bathroom? Regardless, I thought making my own tile could be rather interesting, so I bought a tiny kiln (it fired four, 4” tiles at a time), some clay, a few simple tools and the book “Handmade Tiles” by Frank Giorgini. The minimal water needed for tile making was collected from a local spring. Tile making was a great way to incorporate a love of sketching with the tactile offerings of clay. At that time, the “studio” was a screened-in tent, and I was living under the shadows of Porcupine Rim near Moab, UT. Home was a VW camper van. The views of the red rock towers across the valley couldn’t have been a more inspirational place to learn the art of tile-making.
After a several firings, I conjured up the nerve to take my art tiles to local shops to see about consignment. I had good luck with it and kept on! Many moves later, Salt Creek Studio and Gallery opened on Ocracoke Island, NC. After five years on the island I decided to make my way back to a lovely place I’d stumbled upon in my ramblings: the Olympic Peninsula of WA state. Home.
The business is named after the creek that winds through my parent’s farm in KS. It’s a beautiful 40 acre haven of native KS grasses and trees amidst a sea of commercial farms. The winding Salt Creek provides for an abundance of wildlife, which in turn provides an abundance of inspiration.