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©del Mano - A Gallery of Fine Contemporary Craft, LLC - 2012

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2012 Turned Wood – Small Treasures, del Mano - A Gallery of Fine Contemporary Craft, LLC,

Craft New York, 7W NewYork, New York, NY

American Craft Council Show, Baltimore Convention Center Baltimore, MD

2011 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA


People see logs in my backyard and ask if they’re firewood. I say, “No…. they’re bowls waiting to be born.” By using dead or dying trees to make my pieces, I feel that I’m giving new life to old wood — reuse at its most primal level.

My great-grandfather was a mosaic artist from northern Italy, and my dad built me my first workbench when I was five years old. So, it seems that I inherited a love for fine art and craft through both nature and nurture. The greatest influence on my early life, however, was growing up in rural Japan in the late 1950s, within walking distance of the ancient Kintaikyo Bridge. It was a place and time that seemed lost to the ages. As I watched Japanese carpenters and artisans at work, I was impressed, even at a young age, by the respect they showed to the materials the earth had given them. I do my best, as I work in my studio here in NYC all these years later, to show the same reverence towards the materials I find and use.

After college, a twenty-five year “detour” as an international opera singer, beginning as an apprentice with Santa Fe Opera and culminating as a soloist in Carnegie Hall, offered numerous opportunities for visits to museums, galleries, and artisans’ studios. This provided an “un-official,” but rich and wide-ranging art education. I later spent time at The Institute for Classical Architecture as well as Parsons School of Design, where my passion for historical styles led one instructor to describe me as being “at the trailing edge of design.”

My work has been exhibited at The American Folk Art Museum, The Delaware Art Museum and can be found in private collections across America. While my focus is primarily on Japanese-inspired pieces, I was humbled and honored when asked to design and create the architectural frame for the Lost Heroes Art Quilt, now on permanent display at Arlington National Cemetery.


“The woodworker has a special intensity, a striving for perfection, a conviction that any task must be executed with all his skill.”

- George Nakashima

In a time when “how quickly?” and “how inexpensively?” are the first questions on the lips of many, I take as my influence the simple beauty and care in workmanship and artistry I saw as a child in rural Japan.

In my 25 years as a classical singer, I often found the “business” of music to be ugly, but the music itself always beautiful. I strive to bring the same elements I loved in music – lyricism, harmony and rhythm – to my art now.

I work in a broad range of materials and techniques, which I believe to be an asset, as one skill informs another, and the cross-pollination of media can lead to exciting and wonderful results. Whatever the project at hand, regardless of its medium or the historical period or country that inspired it, I embrace every opportunity to create beauty.

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