Featured Artist Q & A:
Pamela Tuohy-Novinksy isn’t an artist, or so she claims. But crafting bewitching, beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces is truly an art form. With each ring and necklace, the ethical designer challenges what jewelry should look like with the help of her husband. Learn how the reluctant artist weaves sustainability and crafts(wo)manship in each delicate masterpiece she creates.
1) Define yourself in three words.
Mother. Wife. Friend.
2) You work with your artist husband Edward Novinsky on 2ETN Jewelry. What is the story you’d like for your jewelry to tell?
The name “2ETN” comes from the fusion of the phonetic pronunciation of my last name (2E) and Edward’s initials (ETN). Our hope is that 2ETN tells individual stories, weighted with meaning, obvious or not so. We are especially interested in creating jewelry from only reclaimed and repurposed materials and hoping to help redefine what is considered “precious.” Our hand painted, drawn or scrimshawed imagery in the jewelry proves that adornment need not only come from stones and metals.
3) Describe your process of creating and collaborating with your husband. How does a piece go from concept to reality?
Ed and I share the same vision, respect of nature, aesthetic, curiosity and love of creating. All of our work begins there. We generally have a million ideas rolling around in our heads. So selecting which idea we are going to see through from start to finish is the challenge. We always have many projects/pieces being worked on at the same time…
Our process goes like this: I seek out materials from which I can repurpose and design a piece, which always serves as a frame for Ed’s original art. We then choose an image that strikes a cord of importance and depth in us. Ed then creates the image in either acrylic, watercolor, oil, graphite or scrimshaw. Together we add the finishing touches. Each piece takes roughly two to four weeks from concept to creation, though it could be longer if we are working on a commission.
Get a taste of 2ETN’s creative process above. Music by local musician Just Jules of Sea of Bees.
4) A percentage of all 2ETN jewelry sales go to the Pine Ridge Indian Adopt-a-Buffalo Program. Why is this cause near and dear to your heart?
We have a deep interest and respect for Native American culture and it is hugely inspirational to us. So we are honored to be participating in the promotion of a natural approach to sustainability in support of land recovery and the restoration of Buffalo populations.
5) You also have co-founded cabine, with your friend, Amber Collins. Tell us more about this project.
Amber and I came together because of our shared passion for living simply and a desire for crafts(wo)manship with meaning. cabine is a community committed to celebrating creativity and purpose. Our goal is to help create an awareness of how a product is made and who made it. The end result? Pieces that are unique, sustainable, functional and beautiful.
A reclaimed Crackled Quartz and Bali Silver necklace handcrafted by the ladies of cabine.
6) How does living in Sacramento influence your work?
I have an immense gratitude for the fact that Sacramento in an environment that is livable with access to everything in the West that is inspirational and important to me. Since my work and life are one, I feel lucky to be able to create surrounded by so much beauty — I’m close to Downtown, near a park, and live on a streets lined with trees. Selfishly I don’t like spreading the message too much about how amazing it is here…it’s so sad to see what has happened to artists/creative’s in my hometown, San Francisco. I would hate if that happened here.
7) What is your absolute favorite piece of jewelry that you’ve ever created, and why is it so special to you?
I’m fond of 2ETN’s very first Lovers Eye in a 1930’s Eisenberg Original that we made in to a necklace. It was a commissioned piece and it was the eye of the woman’s mother. Ed and I went on to create many more pieces for this woman, and most all are favorites of ours because of the stories behind each piece. For instance, we created a reclaimed white gold and black diamond spider ring for her. Wearing it helped her get over her fear of spiders and like Louise Bourgeois, this woman started seeing spiders as the great weavers and protectors that they are.
Pamela’s favorite piece to date, 2ETN’s Lovers Eye in a 1930’s Eisenberg Original clip.
8) What is your greatest extravagance?
Books, printed and bound. I love Richard Press Art Books especially.
9) When you are not designing, creating and promoting your work (is that even possible?), what would we find you doing?
Retreating to a secluded place in the city, the mountains or by the ocean (and hopefully it will be raining) with no access to technology. A place where I’ll be observing, reading, journaling and drinking hot coffee.
10) What do you hope for the future? Any new big projects on the horizon?
My hope is that awareness of what is truly valuable grows. I intend to stay grounded in the community with hopes of someday having a space in Sacramento to showcase those ideals and visions. And the projects are steady and varied for us…we are working on several commissions for 2ETN and preparing to ship our work to new galleries. Amber and I are also developing limited edition pieces for cabine including textiles, candles, stationary etc. Personally, I am hoping to complete my degree in art history.
Keep up with Pamela:
Website/ Facebook/ Pinterest/ Tumblr
Website/ Pinterest/ Instagram
Interview by Sacramento365’s Content & Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.