Kalaya has a passion for making and has been a Metalsmith since 2008. All of her pieces are one of a kind, made in her private studio in New Orleans. Processes include forging, fabricating, and making her own stamping tools. She uses a variety of metals mostly silver and bronze, but also looks for other materials to play with or add conceptual weight such as wood, plastic, and artifacts found here in New Orleans or during her travels.
As a young adult Kalaya explored the Sonoran Desert in the Southwest. Learning about her Indigenous Mexican and Thai roots led her to a fascination with myth, talismans, and amulets. Being born into a military family led her to live a nomadic life. She attended three different high schools on her way to earning a BS in Microbiology from Northwestern State University in Louisiana. In 1992 New Orleans claimed her as her own. She studied Fine Arts at Delgado Community College under Margo Manning, apprenticed with local artist Becky Burt and attended master workshops at StudioFLUX in New Orleans, the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee.
Kalaya migrates towards making pieces that have an organic feel. Her inspiration comes mostly from nature and sacred symbols. At least once a year the winds of the desert and Mexico call her back home. There you can usually catch up with her in San Miguel de Allende eating a tamale.