Tawney Weir

Little Toro Designs

I am a metalsmith jewelry artist and fourth generation desert dweller based in Tucson, Arizona, in love with the unique place I call home. The Arizona Sonoran Desert is my spiritual sanctuary and serves as a creative guide to me. 

 

Desert light is astonishing and varied depending on the time of year. In the summer it is intense and blinding, in the winter milder, but no less exceptional. The expansiveness of the sky, sweeping vistas, and tiny horizon lines make for a wonderfully disconcerting place. In the Tucson area, architecture and mountains on all sides break the light into an ever-changing kaleidoscope of shadows, presenting the artist with an endless supply of abstract design elements. Inspiration is sometimes as easy to find as looking out my studio window. 

The author, environment activist, and lover of desert wilderness Edward Abbey wrote, " The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life." Indeed it is home to teeming hidden insect and animal life. But the flora speak the loudest to me. I am drawn to the elemental shapes of cacti. The sculptural forms of prickly pear, cholla, golden barrel, ocotillo and the iconic saguaro are easily transformed into relatively simple lines and shapes. This dovetails nicely with the goal of modernist design to strip away that which is not essential. This synergy of the natural world with the best of modern design appeals to me strongly and is an effect I aim to achieve in my work.

 

The fierce natural beauty of the Sonoran desert, together with the blend of Native American, Mexican, and cowboy cultures, form a unique place of color and vibrancy that sustains my imagination. This place is singular, captivating, and a little magical - I am lucky to live here. My goal is to take this inspiration and reinterpret traditional Southwestern design elements in a fresh and contemporary way - striving always for a modern/desert aesthetic.

My work is handcrafted with quality sourced materials using smithing techniques in my little home studio. Jewelry and other decorative objects and hangings are included in my collections.