During the summer, when other children were playing sports and other games, I would sit outside my house and play with slugs. I would pick them up, move them around, letting them crawl all over me, much to my mothers chagrin. My hands and arms would be covered with slug slime when I came inside in the evening and my mother would have to clean me off with fingernail polish remover and a rag. She undoubtedly threw away dozens of slime-covered dishtowels. Slugs were fascinating creatures to me even then. I was always attracted to the slimy, overlooked creatures to which nobody else paid any attention. My interest in slugs and snails didn’t end there; it continued on into elementary school.
Living Snails Interacting with "Fake" Snails
When I was in second grade we moved from Monett, Missouri to Springfield, Missouri. Recess was a hard time for me because I was very shy. I knew no one at this school and because I had a hard time talking to new people even then, I entertained myself during recess rather than playing with the other kids. I would save my milk box from snack time, rinse it out, and take it out to the far side of the playground near the fence. There I would sit down, dig in the dirt, and make a home for the tiny land snails I found. I made sure to give them dirt, leaves, and water, and tried to recreate their environment inside my milk box before the whistle blew and recess was over. The snail’s new milk box home would sit on the corner of my desk until the end of the school day when I would take it outside and empty it, putting the snail back where I found it.
Looking back, it seems only natural that snails, or the idea of a snail, would emerge in my work. I have a history of playing with snails as a child and now as an adult I create wearable pieces inspired by the snails I find on the sidewalk at my home.
Snail Trail Drawing
Steel, Copper, Enamel, Wool
I create wearable pieces based on the snail trails as a subconscious connection to when I was a child, physically wearing the slime trails all over my hands and arms.