Buddy Austin ~ Founder & Goldsmith
I feel very fortunate to say that my passion is also my profession, and that many life experiences have brought me to this point of converged life purpose. When I was seven years old I started taking art lessons, and quickly found that I was pulled towards creating small-scale, detailed drawings. My favorite tool for years was a fine tip sharpie: thoughtful decision making, meticulousness, and colliding intersections of the minute forming larger ideas or emotions expressed in a design or image.
Years later, I took a trip that would illuminate for me what was truly important in life and set the path for me to become a professional artist. In 2007, I had the privilege to go to Spain, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, and New Zealand. Before I took off, my roommate gave me a wire wrapped Labradorite pendant and my sister gave me a Journal. The pendant never left my neck and I wrote in my journal every day.
Through traveling and journaling, I was able to view my life with a new lens; recognizing that my happiest moments were spent creating art and hiking.
In 2008, Wire Wrapping became my artistic medium of choice, and I spent countless hours practicing and seeking out the best gems and minerals to work with. I called back upon all those years spent working with tight, precision drawings and transferred it into my Wire Wrapping designs. Even now, I still seem to be pushing my art to get smaller and more detailed as time goes by. My most recent acquisition was a microscope which has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities.
Today I have expertise in wire wrapping, mineralogy, product photography, fabrication, stone setting, engraving, casting, and wax carving. It would be difficult to label my jewelry under one specific niche as I both blend the lines of and yet also distinctly create fine jewelry, fashion jewelry and festival jewelry. Each gemstone used is carefully selected and I take pride in the diligence carried through from design to finished product.
Destiny Reidel ~ Office Manager & Jewelers Assistant
Washington native, Seattle local Destiny Reidel is an independent artist and jeweler working under the TEA label. Destiny has six years of education in the arts, dabbling in interior design and photography before obtaining a BFA from Cornish College Of The Arts with a focus in sculpture and printmaking.
She has grown with the company since 2012 gaining mastery in wire wrapping and moving into a second line of jewelry named Axis. Destiny also runs and maintains daily operations around the shop. Everything from photography, website maintenance, social media management, shipping and receiving, and reminding the guys to clean up after themselves (lol). She’s basically the glue that holds the shop together.
James Peyton ~ Jewelers Assistant
James and Buddy studied together at New Approach School. James has been working with TEA since 2019. He is a well trained bench jeweler and problem solver. A few things he does around TEA are fabrication, lapidary, design, stone inlay, stone setting and engraving. He knows his shit and has elevated TEA to a new level since joining the TEAm.
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