About the Work
I specialize in autobiographical memory oil paintings and one-of-a-kind hand bags, which I call functional art pieces. No two bags are the same.
I work on each handbag from start to finish with the same attention as when painting on canvas and I embellish them with precious gems and stones such as turquoise, freshwater pearls and many other valuables.
About the Artist
I realized my love of art at an early age while living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. My first art supplies were found objects, then the pencil, pen & ink, and paint. I also was taught to sew. And on Sundays my sisters and I were allowed to play with our best dolls and would make clothes for them. My passion for sewing was born.
My inspiration to create handbags comes from growing up in a home where I was surrounded by all kinds of fabrics, however I was attracted to the upholstery and tapestries. The carpetbags, old stuffed velvet and leather antique chairs with fine woodcarvings. I’d watch my mother sew on her singer sewing machine and was struck with awe of her talent to make clothes and household items like curtains, bedspreads, and slipcovers.
At fifteen, I worked part-time after school in a Leather Shop in Wilmington, NC where I learned to make handbags, belts, vests, hats and many other leather items.
For the last fifteen years I worked to rekindle my craft and enhance my designs of one of a kind bags and totes. No two bags are the same and they are neither manufactured nor mass-produced. I work on each handbag from start to finish, with the same attention as when painting on canvas. My handbags are expressions of my love of design, textiles, fine leather, and African weaves. Materials like burlap, hemp, muslin, canvas, linen, kente cloth, mud cloth, and kuba cloth are some of the essential products I prefer when constructing a bag. Each bag is embellished with natural gems or stones, giving that aesthetic quality and durability which guarantees you an item of the highest degree of craftsmanship and refinement.
Some of my greatest influences are of women in the church where my earliest memories were of their starched cotton whites, or black and rich neutral colored clothes. The women always carried a purse or “pocketbook”, usually a clutch or satchel. They were spiritually and physically strong women. Even their names seem to exude a sense of dignity and pride just because of the way they carried themselves while wearing their purses.
Upon completion, a bag may radiate a certain sentiment which may play a role in choosing its name. Each design takes on it’s own character and is transformed into a work of art, rather than a tool for carrying or transporting stuff. My bags are hand signed and dated and some are also exhibited as art objects.