I was born in Los Angeles in the 50's. My father is a prominent landscape architect and was the first to influence my notions of line and form, volume and symbol. I grew up in Pasadena, in a magical old Greene and Greene style house that had been built by a well- known decorative tile maker. His tiles were everywhere around the house - we would even come across them buried in the garden. Many of the tiles had strong pre-Columbian motifs, which also helped to shape my early aesthetic.

In the 1970's, I studied Anthropology and Linguistics at the University of Oregon and finished my degree at Portland State University. Later travels to the far reaches of Latin America and a visit to West Africa have stirred what I like to think of as an evolving brew of evocative ingredients that I then serve up as my jewelry.

Loose patterns, textural surfaces and the economical use of decorative elements, such as gemstones, are fundamental in the designing of a piece. I want to make direct statements with my pieces, using my own vocabulary of motifs that will be appreciated by those who take time to become intimate with my work.

Tami in the studio.