The Striped Cat &

About Tamara

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 (and rewarding!) job. For those that know me personally, I think they would tell you that I love my little family of 4, I enjoy to laugh and make others laugh with me, and that animals are so very important to me. I live a pretty wonderful and nature-filled life in the woods of central Massachusetts in a town nobody has heard of. My children are now adults adventuring on their own while their mother misses them and wishes them well. My husband, Josh, and I have 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 backyard studio 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.

THE Striped Cat, Maximillian. My tiny shadow.

A striped cat named Max sitting among some houseplants being adorable.
I didn’t start to learn to make jewelry until about 6 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 intended 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. I have a studio space above our garage that my husband built for me. I breathe in deep and smile every time I walk through that door and look at my creative space. It is filled with many kinds of arts and crafts that I will never get to, but it is also a large enough space that I can take our two rescued parrots with me to "work", Sebastiana and Beep. It is packed with houseplants that overflowed from our house and art that I have been collecting from other wonderful makers I have met along my journey.

A tiny bit of my happy place, my workbench that my husband built for me from reclaimed local highschool bleachers.

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 most of the stones I use in my work.

A mushroom bracelet with petrified wood cabochons that I cut myself.

A handmade sterling silver mushroom bracelet with two opalized petrified wood cabochons on each side.
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!

I love all animals!