These “About Me” sections are usually supposed to be professional and talk all about my artist life up until now. My credentials, awards, certificates, fancy schooling. I have none of that. I have been a mother for more than half of my life and that has been my most exciting job. The most exciting and rewarding and also heart breaking. For those that know me personally, I think they would tell you that I love my little family of 4, I love to laugh and make others laugh with me, and that animals are so very important to me. I live a pretty simple life in the woods of central Massachusetts in a town nobody has heard of, with our home full of rescued critters, trying to make a little difference in this world for other living beings. Most days you can find me baking vegan snacks for my family, working in my coop creating new pieces, or taking my cat Max (Yes, he is THE Striped Cat) for a little “walkabout” through our yard and gardens. I name the wild animals that call our property home and spend more money on wild squirrel food than I think we spend on PEOPLE food.
My little family lives in central Massachusetts in a town that almost nobody has ever heard of. I am so used to saying the town, and then following with, “You’ve never heard of it before. It’s ok.” I didn’t start to learn to make jewelry until about 5 years ago when I needed to find something to do now that my children are older. I took an afternoon class at a local craft center that was to teach us how to make some simple stacking rings and I was hooked! I bought myself a torch that very night when I got home.
Being so far from EVERYTHING really pushed me to teach myself new things that I am interested in. Thankfully there are some really great books, YouTube videos, and forums where one can teach themselves how to do *anything*. And that is exactly what I have been doing since. I enjoy thinking of something in my head while I am in the shower (which seems to be the BEST time for me to come up with ideas!), and then wandering into my back yard to my studio to see if my hands and tools can create it. I also learned how to choose mineral rough and cut it into usable cabochons myself because I just was NOT happy with the quality of the stones I was buying from online businesses. Knowing where my stones come from, who mined them, and what the earth was left like after they did so is also too important to me so I taught myself to cut and polish the stones I use in my work.
I have a little Tamara factory in my backyard in this adorable “coop” my husband built for me. I breathe in deep and smile every time I walk through that door and look at my creative space. If you look closely there is a little suction cup bird feeder on the front of my window that I fill a couple of times per day. I have squirrels that climb up the front of my coop and SIT in that feeder nibbling away while I work. My husband, Josh, built Max the cat a cabinet and bed on top to sit on while he is in my coop with me and he can watch the birds and squirrels safely. I have gotten some great videos of this! I just love the wildlife that shares our home with us! Most of my animal themed pieces, especially the squirrels, were encouraged because of friends that live in my yard!
My family lives a vegan lifestyle because of our love for animals and that has spilled into all other areas of my life as well. I work very hard to ensure that my supplies, tools, stones, metals, and other materials do not harm or contain animals in them. It is a full time job! I promise myself and the animals that I will do my best while living my life to cause the least amount of harm. I am sure that you will notice my love for nature and all the living beings within it when you see my pieces. Many of them I create so that I can donate a bit of money to those that are also trying to help animals. That is one the BEST things about my job!