Month: April 2013

Tami Reschke

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Tami Reschke is a hugger not a hand-shaker. To meet her is like taking a dip in a cool lake on a hot summer day: refreshing, fun and invigorating. You almost hope by wearing a piece of her unique hand-crafted jewelry, you might become a happier and more charming person. Her infectious enthusiasm for art and life comes out in her jewelry with funk and flair that totally shouts “Madison made”. When she went to a recent high school reunion, her classmates kept asking her “When did you get so cool?” She is really cool.

Owner of The Bohemian Bauble, she’s been in the local art seen for nearly 2 decades and is a hard-working member of the art fair community, going to 42 shows last year alone. One of her guilty pleasures is eating SpahgettiO’s with meatballs — a meal that grosses other people out but makes her remember simpler times of her childhood. Her work recently garnered a RAWARD as Madison’s Accessory Designer of the Year by RAW. Read more about Tami and The Bohemian Bauble in part of my interview with her:

What have you observed about the Madison art scene or other Madison artists you have met?
I do think that Madison has a vibrant of art community. There are loads and loads of artists in the community. And we can always use more shows. It’s kind of a tough scene too because it’s kind of competitive. There are so many jewelry artists.

Do you think the ubiquity of Madison artists is something that’s been happening more recently or has it always been like that?
I think it’s happening more now and I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m just hyper aware of it now. It’s probably the easiest craft to pick up. As far as not a ton of tools, the materials (depending on what you are using) are not necessarily uber expensive, and you don’t have to be ridiculously skilled at it.

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Learn More About Tami’s Jewelry:


You had a shop, where was that at?
It was two blocks down the street. It was called The Bohemian Bauble. It was open for six years. It was my jewelry and I still had a full-time job when my kids were young. So in order to keep my doors open, I had other artists show their stuff and work in the shop, so it was kind of like a co-op. And it worked for six years. It did get to be a little too much for me. And the economy tanking in 2008 did not help at all. So I closed the doors in January 2011 and decided just to go back and doing art fairs and home shows. But then I got laid off of October of 2011, and looked at it as…this is finally…I need to take the leap now. So I took the leap and I’ve been doing jewelry full time ever since. And I love it.

Still they don’t make it easy for you to own your own business. I was able to do it because I was married. But I just did my taxes and the self employment tax KILLED me. It’s really, really hard to make a living owning your own little small business, especially if you’re making all your own products. They could give those people a little bit more of a brake.

What are your thoughts on Etsy?
I am not an Etsy fan. There was another jewelry artist who was making earrings that were similar to mine. But hers were $14 and mine are $24. And we’re using the same materials. You have to raise your prices when it is your income and it’s what you do. And most of the people at art fairs are just doing it on the side. There aren’t as many artists that have the opportunity to be doing it full time. So that really does cause a conundrum when you’re mixed with the people who doing it as a side thing. Unless you totally want to concentrate on fine art shows.

(Tami’s home is laden with funky designs and unique art). Are some of the other art pieces you have around things that you did?
No, my friends did most of them. I try and do almost all of my shopping at the art fairs I go to or at local stores that only carry local artists. I’m a big believer in that.

(I told her about how I am contantly losing one of every pair of earrings I own)
Well that’s one of the reasons why I use lever backs. They are so safe. And that’s another reason why it’s great to know the artist where you got them from. I had a woman recently who came to me and said she lost one of her earrings. And the earring that she bought from me was literally 6 years old. But I still had the beads and was able to make her another one.

necklacesHow would you describe your art to someone who can’t see?
I would say that it’s colorful, shiny and it has textures and layers. And some beads you just want to suck on. Some of them look like candy. And they beg to be touched.

Is this style of jewelry always what you’ve been doing?
No, my family loves to pull out some of my early stuff. And it’s really embarrassing. No it evolves all the time. Even from year to year. It’s constantly changing. I try to always learn new techniques.

What is your favorite place in the world?
Well I have to say I haven’t been many places. I’m a small town girl. I’m from my Racine. I got voted at my senior breakfast in high school “The Most Likely To Never Leave Home.” It was a pretty accurate award. And I remember when I went back to my high school reunion at 20 years, people kept saying to me “When did you get so cool?” Because I wasn’t that cool in high school. I was kind of more of a follower than a leader in high school. It took me a long time to grow into myself.

Did you find that your art has been a big part of your growth?
Yes totally. When I opened the shop it changed my life dramatically.

But if I had to say what my favorite place is would be Canyon Park, which is a property that my friend owns in Dodgeville. It’s 44 acres and it’s got a canyon and a waterfall and a pond. It’s absolutely beautiful. My husband and I got married there.

Name 3 adjectives that describe your personality.
Energetic, Tenacious, and Honest.

Name one of your guilty pleasures.
SpaghettiO’s with meatballs. I still eat them. I crave them sometimes. It grosses people out. It’s one of those comfort foods for me because I would eat it when I was a little kid.

What was the first tape/record/CD you remember buying?
Barry Manilow (cringing). I loved him! It was a 45. I don’t remember which song it was because I had them all. I probably had every single he had.

Do you still listen to Barry Manilow?
No not by choice. I mean maybe once in a while it would be fun to hear “Copa Cabana.” But not deliberately.

dogWhat is your favorite smell?
The smell of the dogs. I love the way my dogs smell. They both sleep under the covers. They’re rooters. Sometimes I just like to lift up the blanket (she takes in a dramatic sniff of air). I love the way their feet smell, their muzzles smell. I love dogs.

What makes you angry?
Being treated unfairly or unjustly.

Is that something you feel like happens often for you?
No but when it does I get really pissed and I don’t let it go.

What would your 15-year-old self think of you?
Probably not much. I kind of remember being kind of crabby and having an attitude a lot when I was 15. You know you’re kind of hormonal. It’s a bad age for girls. I wasn’t pleasant. I probably was with my friends but not with adults.

What kind of shampoo do you use?
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree. And that’s because we have kids and lice is RAMPANT in schools, and tea tree really helps fighting off lice. I keep posting it on Facebook to the other moms. Get some tea tree shampoo!

What rule do you enjoy breaking?
When I get up in the middle of the night to let Leeroy out, I like to eat cookies. Like at 2am. Have a cookie at 2am. That’s something you’re not supposed to do, but I enjoy it.

What is your favorite pair of shoes you have ever owned?
When I was a kid, my sister gave me a pair of plastic clogs. They were purple on top and orange on the bottom. And they had holes in them where the top met the bottom all the way around so they were great for like splashing around in puddles on a rainy day.