Jewelry Artist Interview-Meet Tara Finlay!


Our Jewelry Artist interviews are kicked off by Mixed Media Artist Tara Finlay. Tara and I met online thru various art groups a few years ago. We finally got to meet in person at Artfest in Pt. Townsend, WA 2 years ago.  Tara creates collage and assemblage as well as jewelry, and her work is gorgeous. Tara’s jewelry was recently featured in Belle Armoire Jewelry Issue 3.


Artist: Tara Finlay  website:

 Tell us a little about yourself:   I am a 36 year old mixed media artist living in upstate NY with my husband, two cats and a dog and sharing one great stepkid.

What is your jewelry medium of choice? Why that medium?:   Polymer clay at the moment. I love the medium because it is so versatile. I can mix colors or I can paint the beads. I can use inclusions to simulate stones. I can sand it, buff it, or leave it matte.  And I don’t need any special kiln or tools.

How would you describe the style of your jewelry?: Chunky earthy.

Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you ever made?: Yes. I made earrings out of two base metal headpins and some seed beads. Heh!

 Have you always been focused on jewelrymaking?  I always come back to it, yes. It is the constant in the flux of  my artistic endeavors.  

Whose work do you relate to most? Who inspires you?:  Susan Lenart Kazmer for one. I love artists that combine materials.

Where do you see your work taking you?:  First, I need to be more disciplined and consistent. Then I’d like to open an etsy shop, and eventually teach classes. 

How do you think/want other people to respond to your art?:  I want people who love it to love it and people who don’t to not. I just want whatever naturally happens to happen.  Even if I don’t love something someone has created, I love that they created it. That is the important thing.  

Describe some important goals you have achieved.:  This year my jewelry was published in Belle Armoire Jewelry III, and other pieces were accepted into a book that is coming out soon.  It is so excited to finally be published. I hope people get as much pleasure out of looking at the magazine and book as I get looking at books and magazines for inspiration. That REALLY makes the whole thing wonderful. 

How would others describe you? Your work ethic/habits?:   I think my husband would describe me as a perfectionist, but I would describe myself as a perfectionist who is trying to overcome years of perfectionism via art :)

 What methods do you use to organize your time?:   When I am working on projects for a deadline, I use lists and calendars to organize my time. I also keep items for each project together separately in a tray so I can keep things straight.

What motivates/inspires your work?:  Deep down inside, no matter what happens in life, I am an artist. That motivates me. It is the constant.

 Where people can buy your products?:  I haven’t opened my etsy shop yet but that is my goal for 2008.

Thank you Tara!!!!