Gerda is a self-taught artist and her creations are entirely her own, including shell work (mosaics), inlays, scrimshaw, and artwork. Her designs are unique, intricate and precise, bright and cheery, and are often geometric and colorful with attention to shading. Every shell used is naturally colored with nothing dyed. She designs and constructs her own valentine boxes from mahogany or other select hardwoods. Most of her valentines contain shells she collects from local beaches.
Gerda was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States when she was 6 years old. Her father, an artist and designer, shared her love for the finer arts. Gerda graduated from Kean University with a dual major in fine arts and biology. She has years of experience as a biological illustrator and in a wide variety of arts and crafts including ceramics, painting, quilting, parquetry, Ukrainian Easter eggs, needlework and silk screening. She values her many friendships in the valentine community and enjoys trading ideas, supplies and techniques with fellow artists. With each new valentine, her methods and techniques improve, benefiting especially from competition. Gerda competes at the Sanibel Shell Show and the Philadelphia Shell Show, where she has earned numerous awards.