Michael Tatom: Jewellery Of Beasts & Beauty
Michael Lee Tatom has been a qualified jeweller for 35 years having received his degree in Jewelry Arts at The Gemological Institute of America. His year old collection, Of Beasts and Beauty, has caught many eyes on the popular site Etsy, and we can see why. His work is ornate and very unique but certainly appeals to a huge demographic.
Tatom describes his personality as young and strong, qualities that are definitely reflected in his work. His animal collection correlates with his connection to nature, and the simplicity of design works beautifully to renounce extreme emotion whilst keeping the style personal to him. Tatom’s designs are solid and powerful, and this type of design stretches to his bespoke pieces. “The hammerhead shark, fawn ring and forest cat were designed for clients. The customer gets a great deal on a custom design and I get a new piece for my collection. I love pleasing people and getting the note about how much someone loves the piece I made for them.”
Having spent 30 years working on every style of jewellery under the sun, Tatom has finally found something in his animal collections that speak to him, to the extent that his future plans ideally consist of narrowing his work to purely animal sculpture and jewellery. “The daily process of producing pieces and designing new ones keeps me so busy I don’t have time to read a magazine to see what others are doing. I miss out on what’s in style at the moment but I guess it keeps me true to what is my own style.”
The curls, curves and modern themes of his pieces are achieved by extensive research into said animal’s anatomy: how they move, stand and their facial expressions. Tatom then begins using a hard jeweller’s wax to create the outline initially, then the relief work. “Most of the muscle lines are not planned, I just keep carving until they seem right. I can spend weeks working and re-working the faces.”
Tatom’s extensive experience in this field has allowed him to not only create some beautiful pieces of work, but also to begin training an apprentice so that his unique style can continue grabbing attention for many more years.
To see the rest of Michael Lee Tatom’s fine work, visit his Etsy shop, Of Beasts & Beauty here.