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I was born in France, and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I moved to the US in 1985. I come from a family of avid art collectors, and was always surrounded by art. As a little kid I was constantly drawing, I loved to copy cartoons, and I developed a good eye for it. I could copy any cartoon down to its minute perfection. As an adult I was not quite sure as to where this talent would fit. I enrolled in college classes when I first moved to the US, and tried a few careers. I eventually managed to finish an Associates Degree in “nothing”.

By the time I moved to Arizona, in 1994. I had two very young children. I was a stay home mom, and to pass the time I started painting murals in the kids’ rooms. Our friends just loved what they saw, and soon after I was painting murals in other children’s rooms. I decided that I needed to go back to school and pursue a career in art. I always wanted to be an animator for Walt Disney, so I thought that by taking some formal drawing classes I could improve my skills and hopefully get a job at Walt Disney. I had no idea that art schools had so much more to offer.

I started slowly; I could only take one class at first since the kids were so young. With each semester I increased the load. I took a drawing class, a 3-D class and a sculpture class. I found myself completely uninterested in the drawing class, but I could not get enough out of my sculpture class. Soon after, I switched my major to sculpture and added another 12 credits to my degree. One of the requirements for the degree was to choose from a variety of classes in all different mediums, and I took a chance and enrolled in a wood class with Tom Eckert. Not knowing what to expect from a wood class, I was very surprised to discover that there was so much I could do with the material. I also had the wonderful guidance of a great teacher.

Tom opened so many doors for me, and helped me discover a much deeper layer inside me. When the semester was over, I was hooked. I took Wood I, Wood II, Wood Carving, Advanced Wood, Special Problems in Wood, I was having way too much fun, and learning so much. I graduated with a B.F.A in sculpture and decided to apply for the M.F.A in wood. I was accepted, and in 2000, I started another three years learning more about the material and developing my personal style. The wood program also offered woodturning; I never took any of the woodturning classes while at ASU because I was more interested in creating pieces that did not look like bowls, plates, or vessels. The work that came out of a lathe looked too limited. I did not approach the lathe until there was a need for rounded parts in my pieces. I was lucky enough to have some very competent turners in the program that were willing to help me get started. The lathe then became fundamental in my work. I became more and more comfortable with it and started using it more often.

Right before I graduated from the program I purchased my own lathe. They delivered it to my house and I put it in the garage. That was just the beginning. I later bought a bandsaw and also put it in the garage. I then made a deal with my husband. I would leave my car out, and use half of the garage as my studio. He agreed, and I started to slowly build a studio in half of the garage. Once you graduate from school, they will tell you that you are done and should move on. The school doesn’t necessarily want to keep graduate students around. That also means that their studio is now closed to you. So I added a few more tools to the garage. I placed them all around the walls, and allowed my husband’s car to be parked in the middle. Being that he was at work during the day, I could have the whole garage to myself until he came home. That was until I started getting commissions, and invitations to shows, and galleries. Then the pristine studio became pandemonium! With all the work spread every where in various stages of completion, and no room for a car. So today, I own the garage, and the cars are outside. My husband is still talking to me, so all is good.

My first professional show was at the gallery at Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ, where I teach the woodworking classes. Up until then I never saw myself as a woodturner. Phil Brennion, who also teaches at the college, brought his class over to see all the turnings I had done in my work. I still did not see myself as a turner. Phil continued to approach me on this subject, and took the time to convince me that I am a woodturner. If I use the lathe, I am a turner. Today I still see myself as an artist who likes to turn, who uses the lathe, and who is having a lot of fun with it. So, am I a woodturner? I guess the answer is, yes.

You can view more of Tania's work by visiting her website: http://www.taniaradda.com

  "Spring Training" 2006
Basswood, compressed ash, leather string.
(leather glove was added for picture composition)
AAW Step Up to the Plate Juried Competition- Entry 2006
Size of piece (baseball only) : 8"L X 7" W X 4" H
  "Blue Blossoms" 2006
Basswood, compressed ash. Turned and carved.
"Small Treasures" Del Mano Gallery-2006.
7" W X 6" D X 6" H
  "Symbiosis" 2005
Basswood, compressed maple. Turned and carved.
Cheong-Ju International Craft Biennale-2005. Korea
17" L X 9" D X 11" H
  "Tea at the Farm" 2005
Basswood, compressed ash. Turned and carved.
SOFA, Chicago. Del Mano Gallery.
16" L X 14" D X 15" H
  "Nature's Tea" 2005
Basswood, compressed maple. Turned and carved.
Del Mano Gallery- Turned and Sculpture Wood-2005
16" L X 6" D X 18" H
  "Last Flight" 2005
Basswood, compressed maple. Turned and carved.
Del Mano Gallery- Turned and Sculpture Wood-2005
17" W X 15" D X 11" H

  "Bumbling" 2004
Basswood, compressed hard maple. Turned and carved
Forms/Expressions- Yavapai College Art Gallery-2005
15" W X 14" D X 20" H
  "Birth" Babo Series. 2004
Basswood, compressed maple, magnifying glass. Turned and carved
Phil Brennion's Private Collection
17" L X 9" D X 15" H
"An Itsy-Bitsy, Please" 2003
Basswood, compressed maple. Turned and carved.
Cheong-Ju International Craft Biennale-2003. Korea
17" D X 17" L X 14" H
  "Fireflies" group of four. 2003
Basswood, compressed maple, flashing bulb. Turned and carved.
One is in the permanent collection of the Arkansas Art Center, AR
11" L X 6" H X 11" W

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