Also known as:
Tomi comes to jewelry design via a career as a cancer researcher. She first developed a fascination with viruses and their role in cancer at the early age of ten, and went on to receive her scientific training at Vassar College, a doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley, and a post-doctoral fellowship at The Rockeffeller University in New York City. Her 22 year biomedical career in breast cancer, leukemia and HIV research culminated as an associate professor in Neoplastic Diseases at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Tomi's first encounter with making jewelry came after a suggestion in 1992 by her husband to take a beginner's course at the 92nd Street YMHA for relaxation. Tomi had always loved jewelry and immediately became enamored of the process of creating objects of art from wire and sheets of metal. Her hobby became a passion, and she enrolled at The Jewelry Arts Institute (New York) for a more formal foundation in classical goldsmithing techniques. She has continually extended this knowledge base over the years through classes and workshops in a variety of areas such as metal construction, wire weaving, enameling, rendering, lapidary, and stone setting. Tomi's experimentation and development of techniques to produce her jewelry designs reflects the rigorous discipline of scientists to constantly extend their knowledge by "pushing the envelope" to reveal life's secrets.
Tomi is fascinated by the analogies among the physical, biologic and chemical processes in nature and life. An example is granulation which Tomi views as the ultimate romantic commitment. This process of manipulating gold involves fusing separate metal shapes by heating them until their surfaces melt and intermix to form one unit. At the moment of fusion the two surfaces reach out, kiss and remain forever connected by a tine bridge of gold. They become one unit, inseparable but distinct, much like the bond between two people.
Tomi's use of granulation in her jewelry tries to convey this romance, and also the unity between this ancient technique, first used in 2500 BCE, and designs of the world today. Special care is given to selecting the precious and semi-precious gems in order to achieve sparkle and yield a balance to the jewelry creation. Her one-of-a-kind and limited-edition 22k and 20k gold jewelry are distinctive designs that incorporate ancient and modern fabrication techniques.
Together with her bent for precision and her knowledge of metallurgy, Tomi's creations are successful achievements of her visualizations that convey a passion for jewelry as an intimate, yet functional, form of art. The goal is to present an elegant jewel that matches the original concept without revealing to the viewer the degree of complexity involved with the manufacturing process.