F or Lara Gaasland-Tatro, the artist behind Lara Edgeland Arts, time spent in the great outdoors has inspired the creation of jewelry and art that highlight the natural world around us. Through her …
For Lara Gaasland-Tatro, the artist behind Lara Edgeland Arts, time spent in the great outdoors has inspired the creation of jewelry and art that highlight the natural world around us. Through her work, she connects her relationship to exploring local land and seascapes with what can be made by hand as a silversmith, lapidarist, and papercut artist.
An interest in jewelry making began at an early age, “Around five years old, and ever since then,” said Gaasland-Tatro. She is drawn to what can be found while enjoying time on the seashores of the Pacific Northwest; many of her jewelry pieces feature stunning beach stones and sea glass that she has cut, polished, and put into placements she has designed. “I also like to work with turquoise and opal that I get from a stone dealer,” added Gaasland-Tatro.
Her pieces have a special quality that integrates the feeling of spending time finding peace and tranquility in nature with a tangible memento of the natural wonders that Earth has to share with us.
In 2015, Gaasland-Tatro expanded her craft as a jeweler by incorporating silversmithing, and has a home shop and studio space in Port Townsend with her collection of tools for use in cutting and shaping metal— including a small antique bandsaw and drill press that her dad restored. She also enjoys working with gold and copper, and has a variety of jeweler’s saws, files, and fine tools to make the cuts and shapes she designs. Gaasland-Tatro also does commissioned work. “I have mostly done wedding and commitment bands, but am open to making anything within my skill set and style,” she said.
As a lapidarist — which is the work of cutting, polishing, and engraving stones and gems — Gaasland-Tatro has found community as a member, instructor, and current president of the Port Townsend Rock Club based at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Gaasland-Tatro teaches classes open to members that range from introductory lapidary work, silversmithing, stone setting, and mentored metalsmithing.
“I love the work and the teaching. The Rock Club is a great resource for anyone interested in learning, and members can use the tools and silversmithing equipment during our scheduled workshop times,” said Gaasland Tatro.
For crafts that require specialized tools, having access to equipment can elevate a person’s interest to a working reality. The PT Rock Club provides that opportunity. The club offers considerably affordable annual memberships for individuals ($20), families ($40), and youths ($10). General meetings are open and free to the public, held at 6 p.m. on the last Monday of every month. Visit porttownsendrockclub.com for more information about membership and classes.
Another creative outlet for Gaasland-Tatro is papercut printing. After taking a class with Olympia-based artist Nikki McClure 12 years ago, she connected with the medium. “I’ve found that it is related to my work with jewelry and metal in a way — the cutting away of the shapes
I design,” said Gaasland-Tatro.
The process of making a print starts with a sketch from a photo she has taken, and subject matter is often related to her experience as a tall ship sailor and mariner. Scenes depicting local vessels underway, details of functional boat parts, marine-life encounters, time in nature with her daughter, Cypress, and the unique way water and air move are all represented in her work.
Similar to her jewelry, Gaasland-Tatro’s prints feel intimate to the natural elements that surround us, and her personal connection to them. She is currently drafting an alphabet book, “S is For Schooner,” illustrated by her papercut prints.
Community access to vending local goods and crafts is also a passion of Gaasland-Tatro’s. As a five-year organizer of the annual Farmers Craft Fair held at the Chimacum Grange, she delights in helping bring together “hyperlocal artists, makers, and farmers.” She also participates as a vendor, and appreciates the space to make her jewelry, prints, and other creations available to the community. The fair, which offers free entry and attendance, aims to connect “farmers, hobbyists, businesses, and non-profit groups that reflect the natural world of the Olympic Peninsula, to create a fair of recognizable quality and preservation of historical crafts,” stated by the event page on the Chimacum Grange website. Visit chimacumgrange.org for more details on how to get involved.
Another space to find Lara Gaasland-Tatro’s work is the gift shop at the Jefferson County Museum in downtown Port Townsend. “I really appreciate the museum for supporting local artists and providing art made by the community. I think there is a need for more outlets for local artists to show their work and am hoping to seeing that grow,” said Gaasland-Tatro.
You can also find her work at laragallery.com.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here