Out of Washington state, Tamara Kelly creates exquisite sterling silver jewelry inspired by the shapes and textures of the natural world. The unique, organic designs of the collection reflect this inspiration in both recognizable and abstract forms. Each piece is meticulously handcrafted and often incorporates a technique called reticulation. In this process, a gorgeous textured surface results from using intense heat to remove the oxide in metal. A layer of pure metal is then revealed, making each piece unique unto itself. Learn more about Tamara’s techniques and process in the interview below.
How did you discover your passion for art, specifically, jewelry?
In the late 80’s I was living in Toronto Ontario trying to figure out my life , I had a few friends that were jewelers and artist, illustrators, couple of them going to the Ontario College of Art. So I decided I would apply for a General study at the college I was excepted and worked on my first year of study over 2 years as well as working full time. The 3rd year my father helped me out so I could attend full time, my major was sculpture and enameling, print making wood turning and plastics and dabbled in jewelry. During that time my friend made me that jewelry bench and the rest is history. Graduated and moved to Vancouver BC worked on jewelry during the day and worked at night as a bartender. I figured that jewelry was my passion and just put my head down and worked hard.
Will you speak a little about your process, particularly how your dreams influence your work?
A lot of time I dream about jewelry designs , the steps and the finished piece, I have a sketch book in most rooms and doodle a lot each year I have to come up with new ideas for the galleries and myself to expand on the ideas.
How does the particular stone you choose to work with influence the final piece? Do you prefer a more intuitive, “create as you go" process?
I have special stones larger pieces that usually create themselves like turquoise , larimar, those pieces are “create as you go."