MEET THE ARTIST
I’m Tahmi DeSchepper, and I’m the jewelry designer and artisan maker behind Tahmi – the art of woven metal. Because I believe in conscious fashion, my focus is on creating beautiful and classic designs from high quality materials that will stand the test of time. My goal is to create jewelry that will receive compliments today as well as decades from now.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
As far back as I can remember, I have been interested in both textiles and business. The first time I combined the two was in grade school. I crocheted a number of Pac-Man and hoped to sell them all at my local church craft bazaar. That didn’t quite work out as planned. Decades later, I still have one left, which has become a favorite toy for my cats. Over the years, I have started a few other businesses in a variety of areas, ranging from archival book repair to technical consulting work in the telecommunications industry, but it was the pairing of textiles and business that has become my true passion.
The last remaining (well chewed!) Pac-Man that started it all when I was in grade school.
Shown: Back of the Woven Bubbly Dainty Wrap Bracelet
A guiding principle for both my life and my business is the phrase “what if,” which has taken me many places I never expected. And when I asked myself, “What if I combined traditional textile techniques with metal to create jewelry,” I discovered I was onto something. I took some of my first designs to the Art Museum in Des Moines, and the buyer for the gift store took one look at what I had brought and immediately wanted to put them up for sale in his store. Seventeen years later, I haven’t looked back!
DESIGN FOCUS - CHAIN WEAVING
Currently, my jewelry collection is two-faceted. The first design direction is link weaving, where I interweave jump rings together one link at a time to create various patterns. Put one link out of place, and the whole pattern is ruined. I think of this as 3-dimensional cross-stitch, and I find it’s a very soothing way to spend my time. These pieces in silver and gold create the kind of classic designs that can be worn everyday with everything.
This will eventually end up as a pair of my Square Double Flower Earrings
DESIGN FOCUS - WIRE WEAVING
But it’s the second design direction is the one that I am most excited about. Using a traditional medieval finger weaving technique, I weave fabric from wire, then embed that woven metal fabric behind layers of clear glass I’ve fused. These layers of glass distort and magnify the underlying metal creating an almost kaleidoscopic effect. That effect, plus the sparkle that the twists in the metal and the glass create, makes for attention-getting pieces. I am the first artisan to use this technique. Click here to learn more about this technique
WATCH TAHMI IN ACTION
Here is a brief video I made to not only give you a glimpse into my studio, but also to give you a taste of how I make my work. Enjoy!