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recycling with a blingy twist: Velvet Otterhound

My name is Tara Evans. My line, Velvet Otterhound, is my version of collage but using vintage jewelry and found items. I make mostly one of a kind wearable pieces as well as bottle decorations, altered art boxes and other altered art pieces.

What inspired you to go into the craft business, do you still have a day job? I have been a collage artist since high school and have made jewelry for just as long. I lived in a very small town- pre internet. There were no craft or jewelry stores in town except the small counter at the local Thrifty drug store. We were left to create items from things we found at garage sales. I created these pieces for myself for many years but a year and half ago I started showing them along with my friends’ artwork and realized other people enjoyed them as well. I now go on hunts for supplies on the weekends so I can come home from my full-time job on the weekdays and spend a couple hours delving into the creative process.

Describe your creative process when designing/making your product line. I wish I could say I have pieces in mind when I collect my items but that is not the case. I salvage and shop by texture, design, and shape. If something catches my eye- I get it. I then put it all out on a table at home and play with it until a design starts to take shape. I then try and push the boundaries a bit by mixing metals and color.

What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst? The best thing is when someone finds an item that speaks to them. It makes me happy. I could never imagine some of the reasons people buy my work: one person bought a vintage Big Bird token bracelet for her sister who was tall and she called Big Bird, another bought a PB&J necklace (yes, as in peanut butter and jelly) because her initials were PB and her husband always joking called her PB&J, another just bought a necklace with a camel rider on it for her mother who just took a trip to Morocco and tells people her camel ride was the most exotic thing she has ever done. To me, my supplies seem random at best but now and then they make complete sense to someone else. The worst… having to organize all my items after they have been splayed out on a table during a creative night.

I create custom pieces from family heirlooms or other items you love. See my website for more details – online store – blog

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