Arts in RI Featured Member - Designs by Wendy T

To start of 2008, we bring you a talented jewelry designer, Wendy Thatcher. Her lovely, eco-friendly pieces are inspired by nature. Wendy, in turn, inspires us all! Visit her shop to see her exquisite pieces (any one of them would make a perfect Valentine's Day gift).


DB: Give us a little background on yourself.

WT: My name is Wendy Thatcher. I was born and raised in RI and will most likely stay here forever. I come from a tight-knit, very supportive family. I am very happily married to the greatest guy on the planet and we have two great kids, girls, ages 20 and 14. We are a “Brady Bunch” of sorts, having met 11 years ago. Me, with a 9 year old, Dave with a 3 year old, and we have pretty much been inseparable ever since.

I am an animal lover to a fault. We currently share our home with two very lovable, obnoxious dogs, who have entitlement disorders, and two very loud, talkative parrots. (They yell at us and the dogs all day!) Its chaos, but it’s my chaos and I love it.

I am a lover of the outdoors, wildlife and nature in general. Some of my favorite times are spent out exploring anywhere with my husband Dave. Most recently, it was our trip to the Rocky Mountains. (See the pic of me with a Mountain Jay and a chipmunk.) To me, this is Heaven.
Evenings and weekends are when I am best able to concentrate on my jewelry. I have a great little workshop area in my basement that I spend countless hours in.

DB: When did you first become interested in your art form?

WT: It seems that I have always been interested in jewelry making and beading, but it was not until several years ago that I decided to finally act on all of the ideas that had been with me for so long. Once I started, I was like a freight train! I guess I never really spoke of my ideas, because friends and family were truly surprised by my work. Sometimes, I still surprise myself. At times, I have so many design ideas and color combinations on my mind, that I have to write them down or I feel like my head will pop!

DB: What inspires you?

WT: I am very much inspired by nature. My favorite materials to use are natural, semi-precious stones, sterling silver and wood. I love to just gaze out the window or go for a walk and to take a close look at the colors of nature. I am truly fascinated by the thousands of different colored natural stones that are out there!

I also very much enjoy creating custom pieces for friends and family that match that persons style and personality. This can be incredibly challenging, but I love the look on a persons face when you know that you nailed it!

DB: Does living in Rhode Island influence your work in any way?

WT: I believe it does. We are so blessed to live in a place where there is water, whether it is ocean, lake or stream, in almost any direction you go. I myself live only two blocks from the bay, and can’t imagine not having these natural resources to look at on a daily basis. A nice walk on the beach or a long hike in the woods is a perfect way to get the creative juices flowing!

DB: What techniques do you use the most in your work?

WT: I am a beader by nature. I spend a large amount of time planning color schemes, combinations and choosing appropriate stones and findings for my projects. I am learning many new techniques, including wire construction, perfecting my soldering, and am working with precious metal clays. I tend to be my own biggest critic, and will not present these items at shows or on my website until I am comfortable with the quality of my work. I’ll get there, but in the meantime, check out my bead work!

DB: What do you find most challenging in your work?

WT: You tend to see a lot of the same things out there when it comes to handcrafted jewelry. It is currently flooded with people trying to sell their craft. I am always trying to stay a “step ahead”, and have unique and unusual pieces available, but at the same time, I try to offer a “something for everyone” type table. I work very hard to think “outside the box” and to even have pieces that do not necessarily fit my style, but will fit someone else’s.

DB: How did you find Etsy?

WT: I was wandering a small country fair one summer day, and stopped to browse at a crafter's table. The vendor who was selling her items handed me her business card and I noticed her web address. She was excited to tell me all about it, and soon enough, I was hooked on Etsy!

DB: Apart from your Etsy work, what do you do?

WT: I am a Licensed Practical Nurse working in the field of Developmental Disabilities. I have worked with this very special population for 15 years, and most likely, always will. I have learned more from these folks than I could ever have learned anywhere else.

DB: What's your favorite place in Rhode Island?

WT: Anyplace outdoors where I can go off and explore nature with my husband, is a great place to me.
If you like this Arts In RI blog post...spread the love!
Digg Technorati Delicious StumbleUpon Facebook Tell Your Tweets
0 Responses