By formal training I am actually a geologist, but I have always been interested in creating things. My first artistic passion was embroidery, which I started as a child, and I designed and stitched some of my own cross-stitch patterns as a teenager. Then I learned to tat lace when I was in college and fell in love with the endless shapes that can be created with nothing but knotted thread. I have taken numerous classes to learn additional embroidery and tatting techniques over the years. I have also been tatting with the Tri-Tatters in Raleigh, North Carolina, since the group started getting together in 2007, and I have participated in many demonstrations with the group to teach the general public about tatting. More recently I started taking jewelry classes at a local store where I gained a variety of metalsmithing skills, and then learned several techniques to enamel on metal. I deeply enjoy working with metal and enamel, and the designs I see in my head always come to life in the pieces I create. Once I felt comfortable with all of these different media and techniques, I started putting them together into finished pieces. I combine various types of metal, enamel, and tatted lace to make each piece of jewelry. I have entered several of my original pieces in the North Carolina State Fair, first as an amateur and now as a professional, and each item has won a ribbon. One pendant and earring set that I created even took Best of Show. With encouragement from my teachers and others familiar with my work, I decided to put all of my artistic endeavors together and Tattered Armadillo was born! My primary profession is still geology, I am a professor at the local community college, but during breaks I focus on creating my jewelry. In addition to selling my own original finished jewelry, I also sell kits to other tatters so they can create their own works of wearable art by tatting onto my enameled metal pieces. I have taught tatting on enamel classes at the 2019 North Carolina Regional Lacers Lace Day and 2021 Palmetto Tatters Guild Tat Days.

Gretchen Miller