Congratulations to U.S. Army veteran and jewelry designer Tara Hutchinson of Tara Hutch Fine Jewelry in San Antonio, Texas. The Women’s Jewelry Association has awarded its 2016 Female Veteran Grant to Hutchinson, who will use part of her grant to teach jewelry making to wounded female veterans so they can become independent and self-reliant.
About Tara Hutchinson
We first heard about Hutchinson through National Jeweler magazine. According to their profile, Hutchinson, who grew up in Alaska, served a 10-year tour in the U.S. Army as a military police officer. She retired as a sergeant first class.
In 2006, while she was deployed to Iraq, an explosive device severed her right leg, causing significant blood loss that led to severe limb movement disorder. She also sustained third-degree burns, permanent back injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Hutchinson turned to jewelry making after her occupational therapist suggested a hobby that might help her regain her motor skills. Her first task was to string a large wooden bean on a thick leather cord.
“This achievement ignited a spark for jewelry creation, and practically in a frenzy, I began teaching myself everything I could about the craft,” Hutchinson told National Jeweler. “I gradually built a library of materials and techniques, and eventually my garage turned into a fully furnished jeweler’s studio. I began practicing all day, every day, and shockingly, within a year, my movement disorder had almost vanished.”
Photos Courtesy of TaraHutchJewelry.com
Tara Hutch Fine Jewelry
Today, 10 years after her devastating injuries, Hutchinson has mastered the intricate jewelry making techniques of forging, soldering and stone setting, among others. Her hand-made jewelry employs organic shapes and sophisticated designs, including on-trend two-finger rings and striking gemstone pendants.
Hutchinson sells her jewelry through her website and social media. She has been featured on the Dr. Oz show, and in many national magazines.
About the Women’s Jewelry Association Award
The WJA’s Female Veteran Grant, sponsored by Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co., is awarded to a deserving military veteran to use towards her profession growth in the jewelry and/or watch industries. It was established in 2015 to lend support to women veterans who continue to serve their communities through their work in jewelry.
Happy Veterans Day to Tara,
and to all the brave women and men who have served
our country through their military service.
Source: National Jeweler