Tess offers beautiful decoupaged boxes, chests, frames, mirrors and jewelry, as well as hanging plaques and more. Her work is unique and worth looking at.
Tell me something about yourself
My name is Tess, and I live in Quincy, Massachusetts right outside of Boston. I share an apartment with my husband and our animal friends; three cats, Sushi, Ophelia, and BabyCat, and dog Roland.
I love living in Massachusetts and am constantly inspired by my surroundings. Whether it’s antiquing in a small seaside town, apple picking, catching a game at Fenway, or just wandering around the historic downtown, there’s no where I would rather be!
How did you get started creating? Is it your full time job?
I’ve always loved crafting, whether it was needle-pointing, drawing, or floral arranging. It wasn’t until planning my wedding that I truly found my creative calling. I had a really specific idea of what I wanted for a card box and after exhaustively searching stores and the internet I decided that I would make it myself. I wanted something that looked like an old fashioned Hope Chest or travel trunk that a lady in the 1800s might have decorated with stamps, cards, letters, and other ephemera collected over the years.
A month later my dream card box came to fruition and an obsession was born!
Right now most of my time is concentrated on creating and selling my art.
What inspires you to create?
Just about anything antique! I collect cabinet cards (19th century photographs) and Victorian fashion prints. I love to imagine what life was like for the people in my old photographs and the kinds of objects with which they would have surrounded themselves. I try to make timeless, beautiful pieces that could have been part of these people's lives. Creating, for me, goes hand in hand with forging a material connection to the past. I absolutely need to create to feel alive.
How would you describe your creative process? What materials do you use to create?
Over the summer my husband brought home a big stack of antique music with lithographed covers for my mom (who collects the lithographs to frame). We found that there were so many falling apart pieces of music in the pile that weren’t useful to her so my mother suggested I use them in my decoupage projects.
Since then old sheet music has become the primary material in my decoupage. I love it because there is so much history, art, and culture packed into each piece. Sometimes just a phrase in a song will inspire a whole project, or a little advertising slogan on the back makes the perfect pendant. I let each piece decide the direction of the project and then go from there. I have fun pairing the music pieces to a variety of wood objects, as well as different paints and embellishments. Most of my ideas live as a jumbled existence in my head and aren’t fully formed until I lay out all my materials in front of me.
Apart from creating, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy playing the violin, antiquing, napping in a pile of cats, cooking, baking, and eating.
How do you get the word out about your shop and your work?
Hands down word of mouth is the best publicity for me. Right now my marketing campaign is basically my mom…she is always wearing my jewelry and buying my music themed items for friends as gifts. Being a musician herself, she knows a lot of people in the local music community and has really helped spread the word about my stuff.
Where we can find your art?
Right now I sell exclusively through my etsy site and local craft shows. My website is www.GildedDays.com and I will be eventually offering my products there as well.