When my mother threaded a needle for me and showed me how to sew two pieces of cloth together, it was so fascinating I didnâ€™t notice I had sewn the whole thing to my dress. This was probably around the time I was learning what sounds letters made at the little one-room schoolhouse I attended. Reading was like a zot of lightening when it came. I could have eaten words like candy. Stitching and piling up words have stayed with me all my life. Both activities are tactile and ancient and as absorbing as the first time I met them. My art, whether it be expressed in words, paint, textiles, metal, or sticks and stones, comes from my inner view, that window that provides data from experience, books, nature; and erupts as art. It is so much fun.
Judyâ€™s first art was writing but a search for hands-on creativity while teaching English, led her to the jewelry and metal smithing department at the University of Maryland. Gradually she departed from traditional metal forming and jewelry making to use thin copper as a textile. Then that too changed as she worked with recycled textiles. Through the years she has supplemented her artistic education with graduate work in metals, painting, and art history as well as numerous workshops. Her writing experience includes many feature stories on assignment for The Roanoke Times and free-lance work with The Christian Science Monitor. It was her love of traveling that led to her first book, a memoir, Lending a Hand, Seeing the World, based on her adventures with volunteer vacation groups.