craft, crafts, custom, design, earrings, etsy, fashion, found items, glamarita, hand made, handmade, high fashion, hunger games, interview, jewelry, Mary Tafuri, metal words, necklace, necklaces, one of a kind, rock, shop, spokane, tafurious, vintage
Next up, we have an interview with the amazingly talented Mary Tafuri, aka tafurious. Check out her etsy here: tafurious
Out of everything you’ve created, what one piece do you love the most?
A.) Since I’m an ADD kid at heart, I love most what I made last. My fave right now is my “Hunger Games” heat-treated copper cuff. Also called “the cuff that was on fire”. If you’ve read the books, you’ll know why that concept was exciting for me to play around with. I am in love with the different patina’s heat-treating copper can produce. This one piece has inspired me to explore more with a process I’d abandoned long ago in my jewelry career.
What’s your Creating Playlist?
A) The Black Keys, The Pretty Reckless, Chris Cornell, Radio Head, The White Stripes, Adele, and a little misc. pop to make me dance. I like to move like Jagger.
When did you first start creating jewelry?
A) I took jewelry fabrication classes in High School, College, and later at my professional career at a jewelry supply house. But I think “the beginning” was much, much younger. My mother had this big white painter’s box full of tools, gemstone beads, leather and stringing supplies that she used to make traditional Native American mourning chokers and dream catchers. I think I was just a 7-year-old, when she began teaching me how to make them myself. I glorified that box as the birthplace of my passion and career so often that my mother finally broke down and gave it to me for Christmas. Sometimes, it pays to drop less than subtle hints.
Besides Etsy, can we find you any place else?
A) Locally, you can find my one-of-a kind jewelry work at Glamarita on Garland and my featured favorites at Coco’s on the South Hill. I think there are still a few pieces of my older work at the Tinman art gallery, and I’m also in a few boutiques scattered across the country. For people who make jewelry, my family and I also create a line of leather beading components, sold both on Etsy and at Rings & Things wholesale.
Where does your inspiration come from?
A) Books, movies, runway shows. If you name it, I can find inspiration in it. I am in love with vintage high fashion and find so much inspiration using old jewelry pieces from past decades. Recently though, my ideas have been drawn from industrial design, apocalyptic trends in today’s storytelling and decomposition.
What other hobbies do you have?
A) I was a professional photographer for many years, so I occasionally like to shoot, mostly commercial stuff for my studio, but I find time to do an occasional walk about. I also draw a political cartoon and like to study congressional laws and political history. I am a fierce political debater and try to stay well studied in politics so I can share what I know.
What style/genre do you enjoy creating the most?
A) Anything that could qualify as high fashion. I use a lot of leather in my work, so I’d say my style could be mostly rock/punk and high fashion, but I like to try new things, so my work of 3 years ago is vastly different from my work of today, and tomorrow.
What shops on Etsy do you enjoy watching the most?
A) I love Etsy’s shop local feature! I can keep up with all my local girls like; Kuriio (Gianna Morrill), Assassin Apparel (Kadra Evans), Totally Trashed Fashion (Rachel Mace, store pending!) and of course Glamarita (Ronnie Ryno).
If you could put together a treasury and use only one color, what would you use?
A) My high school colors still mean a lot to me. Red & Black. North Central whoop whoop!
If you could offer advice to others looking to make jewelry, what would it be?
A) I live very realistically, and recognize that nearly everything around us is in one of two states: growth, or decay. My best advice is to always grow your knowledge about creating jewelry. Jewelry is such an expansive craft that there is always a new technique to learn so I highly recommend connecting with jewelry professionals, reading trade articles and taking as many classes as possible. Change up your designs often and try new ideas and materials. Perfecting your craft should be a life-long pursuit, so don’t expect to create a masterpiece without trial and error. Since growth does not come to a full sponge, you’ll want to leave room to learn new ideas. Lastly, if you want to make a living from your craft learn about craft as a business. Eventually, you’ll want to distinguish yourself as an artist and/or a craftsperson. An artist has something to say. A craftsperson has something to sell. Try to do both and you’ll find a career more fulfilling than any other will.
You can find more about Mary, here: