I approach each of my Aviaries as a thin slice of a world, a window on elsewhere. The scene is never about birds, but the birds are nonetheless essential; they are your guides into my imaginary world. I enjoy the traveler's feeling of being out of time and place, an observer of the unfamiliar, when even the ordinary world seems magical.
I find inspiration in old, illustrated books on travel, geography, and natural history, as well as photos, maps, and memories of my own travels, and anything with a curious past.
A few years ago I began sketching ideas for dioramas and shadowboxes, around the same time I found a pair of hundred-year old Audubon posters and some antique hardware at a local auction. These bits of the past provided inspiration for what were to become the Aviaries. In them I slightly alter the natural world, creating a place of mystery, romance, and occasional magic.
The Aviaries are limited edition or one-of-a-kind shadowboxes made of wood, brass, paper, glass, antique hardware, and various other materials. Backgrounds are sometimes ephemera collected in my travels, or are hand-painted in gouache, ink, acrylic or watercolor. The birds I cast in resin, using molds made from my original carvings, then I individually shape and paint them. I carefully consider color, pose and placement of birds as the final step in construction.