"Have you ever picked up a grasshopper, a bug or a butterfly and looked at its amazing intricate structure, texture and colors?
This fascinates me and sparks my creativity. I can see a larger than life clay sculpture emerging from it.
I am driven to interpret various forms of life: their singularity, intensity, and interaction - while evoking an emotional response."
I am a Swiss national raised in Mexico City. I believe that my international upbringing and frequent moves have defined my creative direction. I have always enjoyed working with my hands. Over 15 years ago, my passion for sculpting began with creating papier-mâché props for theater, events, and floats. I loved the challenge to construct large pieces that were also light, inexpensive, and quick to make. I did much of my work for the Egyptian Theatre in Park City, Utah and The Wellesley Players in Massachusetts.
When my husband and I moved to St. Petersburg in 2016, I decided to try clay as a new art medium. The process of working with clay was in ways similar to papier-mâché; the result, though, is more resilient and permanent. Working with clay also opened to me a new world of applying textures and glazes that added new dimensions to my work.
For the last three years, I have focused on capturing the intricacies of insects and other forms of life in clay, to which I add metal, wire, screws, beads, and other materials. I sculpt these multimedia life forms bigger than life to engage the viewer and bring more awareness of their beauty and fragility.
My clay sculpting adventure has not always been smooth, but I have enjoyed every inch of the journey. In 2017, I was lucky to have a studio at the Clay Center of St. Petersburg because it gave me the opportunity to learn from fellow members and understand various clay working techniques. But I have had many flops: breakage in and out of the kiln, glazes that went bad, and finishes that were unrecognizable. One piece even blew up in the kiln! Despite these frustrations, I am glad I did not give up, and so I learned from my mistakes. I now have my own studio at home and enjoy the ease with which I can create freely. My greatest struggle now is marketing.
In December 2019, as a newly designated “Emerging Artist,” I was able to present my pieces at the Florida Craft Art Show “With A Twist.” I enjoyed seeing viewers’ reactions to my insects, reptiles, birds, and sea life. Some were fearful of these lifeforms, and others were intrigued. Those who engaged with my artwork even nicknamed me “The Bug Lady.” This experience was highly motivating and moved me to create a collection of women’s busts. Each of these busts represents an emotional battle, from rivalry, neglect, and hurt, to body perceptions of disconnect and confinement.
I feel extremely lucky and grateful to be able to pursue my creative passions. I cherish each new challenge and the opportunity it gives me to learn something new. Starting late in life, I do not think that age becomes a limitation. On the contrary, an abundance of life experiences is represented in my work.