Fine Arts Studies at BSU



ART 307 - Contemporary Ideas in Metalsmithing

Rooster Feather Wrap, Copper, Bronze


Even as a young girl, I would come home with pockets full of flowers, leaves pressed between pages of school books and butterflies rescued from the grill of our car.

I no longer pine for the beautiful dead bird on the side of the road, not even its feathers. Nature’s lifecycle of Ectosymbiosis is fair and just…giving the new host (bird mites, beetles and other parasites) a place to start its life. The symbiotic relationship of dead bird and terrifying insects leaves no room for me in the natural equation.

What Lies Underneath is my interpretation of the beauty of nature’s life-giving gift to the next creature, however cruel and disturbing the process may be. If I am wrapped in a luxurious feather detail, does the beauty of the garment disguise the parasites around my neck?


For the senses project, I chose sound. A free floating metal lauburu rolls around in the hollow form of this statement ring.

The echo of the natures elements: Fire, Water, Earth and Air are what I’ve captured inside this hollow dished piece represented in the four headed lauburu. This symbol is commonly found in the Basque culture. The lauburu often represents the four natural elements, as well as the sun in motion; it is also believed that the sun has the power of protection.

The piercing on the ring’s top surface echos the characteristics of the elements:

FIRE shown in the strong, vertical elements - as dissected, lapping flames.

WATER found in the droplets around the perimeter.

EARTH can be seen as flower petals coming from the center.

AIR captured in the swirling gusts in the mid-section.

SUN as a bonus protective element, in the center as a glowing beacon.

Sound Ring.jpeg


ART 307 - Contemporary Ideas in Metalsmithing

Silver, Bronze, Copper


Sheep Wagon

ART 221 - Art Metals: Metalsmithing

Copper, Brass, Silver


For decades, young men left their homes in the beautiful, yet poor, Basque Country to follow their dreams of a new life in America.  Many of them, like our aita (father), didn’t speak English or know much about sheep.  However times were tough at home and others had already paved the way.  So uncles sponsored nephews and former neighbors to help bring eager young met out West to become sheepherders.

These were the lonely times for these young Basques. Most herded with a dog and perhaps a mule (or a horse) if they were lucky. Some had musical instruments and in later years they may have been fortunate enough to have a radio to pass the evenings. However in the stillness of the night, just outside the sheep wagon, the land and the bedding down of the sheep continued and sang its own comforting song to the lonely sheepherder. Stories from our fathers, grandfathers another older Basque friends in our community are so vivid and passionate. Most of them reflect fondly on the beauty they found in their solace.