Tahnee Wilbanks has spent most of her life expressing her artistic side with crafts of various mediums. From sewing to molding polymer clay, and everything in between, she finds ways to recycle discarded materials and create desired objects.
“Before I go to a store to make a purchase, I first try to make it at home,” said Wilbanks. “I’ve been doing this ever since I was old enough to use a glue gun.” On one occasion she wanted some pizza earrings and so she figured out how to make them.
On another occasion, a friend wanted to have a Japanese tea party with kimonos and Wilbanks used bed linens to make eight outfits with matching headdresses. The girls wore them during the party and took them home as keepsakes.
“Searching for the items to use to transform a party into a themed party is half the fun,” said Wilbanks.
Making miniature sculptures of unusual objects is a passion of hers. “I try to see the humorous side of things and my artwork reflects that,” said Wilbanks. “I like to make people laugh.”
When she’s not making miniature items, she scales her projects up to larger-than-life objects. “I plan on making a huge gingerbread house for Christmas, maybe next year,” said Wilbanks. “I’m definitely drawn to the unusual when it comes to my artwork.”
Another craft she makes is using wire, beads and stones to create replicas of bugs.
Most of the items she makes are given as gifts, but over the years Wilbanks has shown her talents at local festivals such as the Colorfest and Rhododendron festivals in Mentone and Boom Days festival in Fort Payne.
“My beaded bugs are a big hit at the festivals,” said Wilbanks.
Recently, she made a money-themed Christmas tree for a bank. She created over 80 handmade piggy banks and money bag ornaments.
She is always happy when someone offers her a chance at a forgotten pile of fabric or any unwanted art supplies. Another way she finds materials is by visiting thrift stores. A corner of a room isn’t enough space for her supplies and work area so she dedicated an entire room of her home as her art studio.
Her work may be seen on Facebook at Sir Doodle Art and Jewelry and at DeKalb County Alabama – Buy, Sell, Trade under Tahnee Wilbanks.
Tahnee’s Motto: “Crafty art for the child at heart.”
— Marla Ballard’s Who's Who appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday and weekend editions.