Tanya Lowry is the sole-proprieter of Tanya Lowry Design. Born and raised in Hillsboro, Oregon, she now lives high in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 20 years, Tom, and their two dogs, Bella and Carmen.
Tanya first made her name as a hand-made book binder, making custom wedding journals, notebooks, and a line of 'book-earrings', which were tiny hand made books worn as earings (a hit with teachers and librarians!). She self-publish a limited edition journal for the 150th anniversary of the crossing of the Oregon Trail. During this time, Tanya also began creating jewelry that emphasized natural materials which captured light creating a subtle glow. She continues her jewelry line to this day and has sold her pieces world-wide. She has participated in numerous art shows and fairs across the Northwest and New Mexico. Tanya also has experience on the 'other' side of the art world, owning and operating the Whitehorse Gallery in Hillsboro for over four years. Besides Oregon and New Mexico, shelived for a short time in China, as well as a longer stint in New Zealand, where she deepened her artistic expression and talents through the cultural experiences.
About 10 years ago after being inspired by a life-long friend, Tanya took a welding class to develop new skills in hopes of a new adventure. It was during this class that she became exposed to the art of blacksmithing. She was immediately taken up by the balance between the hand forging of hot steel and the soft beautiful forms that could be created. She has never looked back. Blacksmithing and metalworking are now her chief medium.
Since moving to New Mexico in 2003, much of her work has taken advantage of a tragedy of sorts. In 2002, New Mexico and the surrounding region was overcome by an Ips beetle (bark beetle) attack. These hard working 1/8th inch-of-terror attacks trees by drilling through the outer bark and laying eggs within. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae eat the nutritious soft lining between the bark and the wood of the tree, which proves to be fatal to the tree. In addition, the adult beetle caries a 'blue-stain' fungus that chokes the water and nutrient carrying tissues of the tree.
What has been a sheer tragedy for the trees and the region has shown to have a small silver lining. As only nature can do, the beetle larvae are very skilled at creating beautifully carved, artistic patterns in the pinon wood as they eat their way to adulthood. The 'blue-stain' fungus colors the wood a beautiful striated blue-gray color, highlighting the woods natural grain and complexity while simultaneously hardening the wood, which makes it perfect for the application to furniture.
As luck would have it, a sizeable percentage of the Pinon pines surrounding Tanya's workshop and studio fell to the bark beetle. Utilizing this wood, she has created a line of home furnishings and accessories that express the true beauty of nature, turning damage and destruction into art and function.