Debra began teaching at the Orange Art Center in 2004. Throughout the years the center has proven to be a dynamic environment where students of all skill levels can come together and improve on their abilities, learn a craft, and share ideas and experiences. Her primary focus in teaching has been giving guidance in introducing the fundamentals of technique so that, once practiced and proficient, the students can explore their own creative directions. Debra encourages the development of work through the student’s own design choices based on composition and proportional questions. She has met so many diverse inspiring people throughout the years each with their own individual sense of aesthetics and determination. The real satisfaction as an instructor has always been witnessing the development of each student’s confidence in both the proficiency with the tools we use as metal smiths and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to develop a visual language leading to the creation of individual original jewelry pieces.
Debra is an accomplished designer, fabricator, and educator with over twenty years of experience creating jewelry art. She has sold her work at Moca’s ARTSCAPE, the Cain Park craft show, Terra Vista’s holiday sale, the Cleveland Museum of Art’s gift store and has exhibited at the William Busta Gallery. She attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and spent several years in Germany attending the Cologne College of Art and Design and the Burg Giebichenstein. In 2003 she founded TAP Studios with her husband Todd. TAP was originally created as a gallery and teaching studio offering a wide variety of classes and workshops for all levels of experience. The studio also organized a regular program of exhibitions featuring both established and emerging jewelry artists. At the present time, TAP Jewelry is a growing craft-based endeavor focussing on hand fabricating a distinct line of jewelry sold in over thirty galleries and stores across America and internationally.