Dee Tabor is a resident of Tulsa with a lifelong interest in jewelry making. The difficulties of being a full time practicing artist led her to approach her passion pragmatically; while supporting herself as a full-time teacher and small business owner, she spent sixteen years attending metalsmithing classes and slowly building a home studio. In 2016 Tabor became a full-time working artist. Patrons privately commission the majority of her work and Tabor is a member of organizations such as the Society of North American Goldsmiths.
Tabor says that her strongest aesthetic influences are from nature and her Chickasaw heritage. As an artisan jeweler, Tabor designs and creates unique handcrafted jewelry and works with a variety of natural stones, pearls, glass, and metals. Moreover, Tabor is versed in various cultural metal embellishing techniques such as mokumé gane, a traditionally Japanese technique to produce mixed-metal laminates, and keum boo, a Korean method of gilding to apply thin sheets of gold to silver. Tabor’s pieces are a perfect balance of color and function resulting from the skill, intention and exquisite materials she employs in the composition of each piece.
Tabor is a strong advocate for continuous education in her craft; she frequently attends classes, critiques and studies other artists’ metalwork. Most recently her work has been inspired by a trip she took to Seattle where she discovered many unusual stones and materials, such as handmade glass and paper, which she wants to include in her future execution of contemporary artisan jeweling. Tabor works to redefine metalwork through the utilization of her traditional education coupled with her innovative incorporation of stones, embellishments and manmade materials.