Tamra Gentry Design Studio
About The Artist
Tamra M. Gentry • Elgin, IL
Jewelry • WHOLESALE AVAILABLE • CUSTOM COMMISSIONS
Tamra Gentry is a contemporary studio jeweler best known for pairing simple lines and shapes with colorful, attention-grabbing materials in her jewelry. Whether using Fordite, natural minerals and gemstones, or fine silk thread, Tamra is driven by a need to balance her right-brained color-inspired hyper-creativity against a strong inclination toward left-brained order and structure. Her current work combines handcrafted silk micro-textiles with the understated metal forms she makes to compliment them.
Q&A with the Artist
Tell us how your work is made.
I use a variety of traditional jewelry fabrication techniques for the metal components of my work. I hand-braid all my textiles using the ancient Japanese braiding method, kumihimo. These fascinating micro-textiles begin as spools or skeins of hand-dyed silk thread from Japan. Some of the silks are as fine as a strand of human hair. I warp the threads, then section, tension, and braid them. The warps range in thickness from five silk strands per individually weighted bobbin to two hundred strands per bobbin. The number of bobbins can vary from eight for tiny ties to thirty-two and beyond for thicker, larger, more complex textiles.