As a jewelry designer, I have traveled the world in search of exciting and unique pieces of ethnic jewelry to inspire and include in my collections.

To find a trader in a small Saharan village who has collected tribal silver for years. To wander the narrow alleyways of the souks of Marrakesh. To visit hill tribe villages in the remote areas of Thailand and Burma. To find a small shop in the old part of Sanaa in Yemen that still has a few exquisite old beads crafted by the Jewish silversmiths who left so many years ago.

And, while immersed in these delicious searches to discover the peoples of these areas. To interact with them in a way that would be so difficult if one were just a tourist. That has inspired me to try to capture some of the wonderful things that make us all so different, yet so much the same.

To me, wandering the markets and back streets and interacting with the people is so much more pleasurable than lining up to see the same heavily promoted “tourist sights” that I can enjoy at my leisure in a book or online. To sit in a cafe sipping a The a la Menthe and watching the passing show is much better than standing out in the searing sun enduring the heat and the crowds to see some temple or monument.

I have also become intrigued with capturing the amazing details and textures of the old walls and structures that we’ve come across. They almost become abstract, impressionistic paintings.