Greetings! My name is Tammy L Deck and I’m writing this from my current location in Westmont, Illinois. I say “current location” because I’ve lived in 13 different Chicagoland suburbs since birth and will be making part of my “living” out of a tent sent up over a weekend in roughly 7 other suburbs during my art fair season. My only “child” is my business, “TLD Designs”, which I brought into this world in 1986 upon graduation from college. It’s been a labor of love.
My creative path:
humm….all I know is that I’ve been coloring stuff and making stuff all my life. I figure my mom discovered if she put me on the floor with a bucket of crayons and a coloring book…. she could keep me occupied for hours. Another way she kept me busy was with the big blue suitcase that contained her old prom dresses and high heeled shoes she let me use for dress-up. I guess it was a natural thing that I’d end up creating wearables. Barbie was the recipient of my early work.
Education: I took all of the sewing related classes in high school and one art class (photography) I’m still sad that I didn’t make use of the high school art department…….just didn’t think I qualified as an artist back then. I attended the Fashion Design program at Harper College in Palatine, IL which is where I saw weaving looms for the first time….but nobody was using them….so sad!! That’s when it hit me…I wanted to make my own fabrics!!! Fiber Art!!!! That’s what it’s called!!! Yea!! I GET TO BE AN ARTIST!!!
I was told that I could learn how to weave at Northern Illinois University (NIU) so that’s where I headed. But wait….fiber art isn’t just weaving…..noooo…it’s anything and everything you want it to be!!! I also learned how to dye and paint, blockprinting and silk screen printing and spinning and stitching and knitting and knotting and….and…and….and…FELT MAKING!!!!
Okay….Okay Fast forward here.
In 1994 my mother and I decided we wanted our own studio & gallery space where we could put our work and not explain or defend it to anybody. I found an off-beat, downtown, commercial space in a sleepy town called Westmont.
I started teaching creative art classes in 1996 with an emphasis on fibers (duh) but then started adding classes in other mediums based on students requests and my own personal interests (I’ve taken 90% of the classes we offer) and that’s how we started with the glass bead making!!! (I bet you were wondering if I’d ever talk about glass or beads, huh!)
Yup….I had wanted to learn how to do it for several years……but I was a-sceeered of the whole torch thing. Hannah Rosner (Beading Artist extraordinaire) sent me her resume and… oh my gosh!!!… she is a lampwork instructor! Patty Pulliam and I were together in the first glass class held in my studio, January 2001. I’ve had the pleasure to assist over 275 people with their first introduction to the torch (some have referred to me as their “glass pusher”) and many of these people have gone on to create wonderful glass art businesses for themselves & become glass art instructors, too.
So….what exactly do I do ?
Most of my time is spent running “the business”. Up-dating my website and the class list, ordering in the supplies, signing folks up for classes, petting my two studio cats (Grunion & Nutmeg), teaching classes and cleaning up after the classes.
The week before an artfair….I work feverishly, frantically, ferociously…..to create my ArtWear pieces which include hats, purses, scarves, shawls, mittens, jackets, dresses, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Currently I’m using a heavy dose of wet felting, such as: Laminated (Nuno) Felted Silk Chiffon, Free-hand Felt Lace, Traditional Flat Felting and 3D felting. I still work with a heavy dose of hand-weaving, hand & machine knitting, crochet, hand dyeing & painting fabrics, recycling sweaters, fusing and/or lamp-working glass.
I’m afraid I’ve rambled on too long. If I’ve not bored you to tears by now and you are truly interested….you can visit my website for more gory details. TLD Design Center & Gallery
oh…I’ve just started playing around with “Silk & Fiber Fusion”….my next obsession.
Thank you for your interest.
I really do appreciate it.