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Let's get this thing going!

I recently had the opportunity to submit a proposal for one of my pieces to be carried in the very building that inspired it (hopefully more to follow on that topic, fingers crossed!), and one of the questions among many was:

"What inspired you to become an artist/business owner?"


I thought this topic would be a good jumping off point for my first blog post. Before sharing my response, here's a quick blurb about getting to the point where I could actually answer this question.

For better or worse, I often find myself doing things on a whim. I come up with some half baked plan, throw it out there and then become completely insistent that it must become a reality. This list would include things like eating vegan, eating paleo, taking 6 months off work to travel, doing a triathlon when I hate running and swimming, and most recently... quitting my job with no future job in sight. So the start of this company came about much like many other life altering decisions I make, completely on a whim. In many ways "on a whim" could just as well have been my company name over "off on a tangent"!


Enameling bench top at The Art League


This "thing I wanted to create" started out very much as a fuzzy idea I had in my brain. I literally had no idea what I wanted to do, just that it was "something". I had been unemployed for a few months and becoming anxious over what this "funemployment" was leading to. My wild untamed thoughts would rule many conversations between myself and Tom, resulting time and time again with no real conclusions. Parallel to these conversations I was taking art classes and learning to create some unrefined but kind of cool pieces.  

 Exploration jewelry pieces produced while attending The Art League

See just how different these explorations were to where I am today!  Can you spot the beginnings of the Voûte and Clochán pieces?

Through my explorations, I began to realize my passion for architecture and jewelry design began to meld together. Many of my pieces started to reflect the places I had visited. Once I caught on to this, I finally started to hit my stride and began creating pieces solely based on architecture and travel.

As for the technique in creating them, being an architect I am completely anal about perfection and precision, so in came the digital fabrication technique that is reflected in my pieces today. Bonus that I get to use the same tools I was trained on as an architect.

 Some of the test pieces while creating the jewelry line for Off on a Tangent.

Bin of many many test pieces I went through over several months trying to refine the design and technique. 


So here goes, my response to the question posed. It all just seems so clear to me now...

What inspired you to become an artist/business owner?  

I am an emerging jewelry designer, with over 10 years working in the design profession as an Architect. I dabbled with art and jewelry classes as a side passion, but did not become serious until after spending half a year devoted to traveling and seeing many of the iconic buildings I had studied in architecture school and throughout my career. I wanted to find a way to share and combine my passions of travel, architecture, and jewelry. Inspiration struck and I began creating unique and beautiful pendants, which I hope facilitates interactions about the architecture which inspired them.

Our jewelry line takes inspiration from the architectural forms and expressions of iconic buildings, and creates pieces that exemplify those recognizable features. Our necklaces are intended to be statement pieces that will attract attention while wearing, serving as catalysts for engaging conversations about the inspirational architecture behind the piece.




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  • Melissa on

    ^^This is so cute. I love seeing support from your family like this!

    I was so impressed and enamored of your work the first time I saw it in “Made in DC” last week. Just bought a necklace this morning for my sister-in-law’s birthday. I knew I wanted to get her something beautiful and special, and I knew it had to be one of your creations. Thanks so much for your hard work!

  • Dad on

    Whew!!! Here I was thinking as your dad, “what is she doing quiting her job???”. But then I thought whatever you did that it was always well planned & executed, she knows exactly what she’s doing (couldn’t have been farther from the truth). I’ve always had faith that you’ll land on your feet (even if it’s running a marathon) because you have an adventuresome spirit that’s willing to take chances & suffer the consequences. Well this may be one of your “Off on a tangents” I am sure you will succeed because some how you always manage to pull it off!! With the love and support of your better half, friends, family & your determination to succeed, whatever adventure you have is what you make of it, and I am sure you’ll make the best of it because you always do. Good Luck , I mean GREAT LUCK!!!

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