Artist's Statement

In my pursuit of art I have tried almost every medium, from painting, ceramics, printmaking, drawing and fiber arts.  None of it fully satisfied my desire to do something different until I discovered that I could use hog casings (gut) as a medium for art.  Although few contemporary artists are exploring this medium, indigenous peoples frequently use it to make clothing and ritual objects.  It is also a forerunner of Gortex.

Gut is a marvelous material to work with, not easy but challenging.  It often has a mind of its own.  I have to wash it, let it dry, feed it onto a dowell, and cut it into workable lengths.  It gives me the ability to make uncommon three dimensional forms.  Gut is a perfect medium to create my shoes.

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Shoes let me tell stories.  They are often shaped by political or whimsical themes that I come across in my daily life.  The title transforms the shoe’s shape and design into a statement.  I created “Bound” after I held in my hand an example of bound feet, a tiny Chinese shoe that told a story.  I channeled my anger into a work of art.  A hightop sneaker on a skateboard became “Boys and Their Toys” to represent my view of the tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.   

Throughout history shoes have told a story or hinted at the personality of the wearer.  My  shoes truly have the ability to speak.