Tommie Jane (TJ) Lane is pictured with her daughter, Cynthia. TJ has been making Sterling silver and 18K gold jewelry and thimbles for nearly five decades. TJ has a studio in her home in Fairfield, Iowa where appointments can be made by individuals or small groups to visit, however most of the thimbles and sewing jewelry are sold through the secure website as well as by vendors in various parts of the world.
The thimbles and sewing tools are made from Sterling silver or 18K gold, sometimes in combination with special steel components such as needle threader wires, cutter blades, stiletto and crochet hook tips. The under-the-quilt thimble has a silver disk faced with stainless steel. Most of the thimbles and components for tools are cast with the lost wax method. Models to make molds may be first sculpted in wax or handmade directly in precious metal by TJ.
TJ practices a high degree of craftsmanship and guarantees her products. If a hole develops in one of her thimbles she can repair it. If a needle threader wire breaks, she can replace it. If unexpected damage happens, she can probably restore the piece. Currently there is no charge for repairs or replacements, however she requests $10 per item to cover shipping and handling. For repairs sent from outside the USA, a credit card can be used to pay applicable shipping charges. Please see "Shipping" regarding packing and mailing items for repair or exchange.
A little more about TJ:
TJ Lane learned metalworking at the University of Arizona in Tucson in the 1960s. She loved the class so much she repeated it three times! TJ was a public school reading specialist before she began making jewelry full time. She taught silversmithing privately and at community college and wrote articles for Lapidary Journal and other magazines on silversmithing techniques, including how to make a thimble.
When TJ started offering her thimbles for sale, quilters, sewers, and collectors were immediately attracted to her beautiful, lightweight, comfortable thimbles and creative sewing tools.
TJ's calendar of events grew fast, and Cynthia joined full time in 2003 and set up the website. Cynthia's husband, Matthew, joined the team in 2006. The world-wide economic slow-down affected the thimble business, and Cynthia took a "day job" in 2009. TJ moved from Boone,North Carolina to join the family in Lincoln, Nebraska in July 2010. Matthew accepted full-time employment out of the house, and TJ resumed full responsibility of THIMBLES BY TJ LANE once again. She moved the studio to Fairfield, Iowa in July of 2012.
TJ attends to repairs and fills orders. Of course she continues to create new designs and do special orders. In her spare time TJ sews, using patterns she has designed for quilted garments and skirts with swirl hemlines. She also enjoys growing plants inside and outside.
THIMBLES BY TJ LANE are made and finished entirely in the USA. Billanti Casting Company in New York makes molds from TJ's models and has been casting her thimbles and jewelry components since 1970. Finishing and setting gems is done in Fairfield, Iowa. There has never been a "brick and mortar" store front. Prices are based on precious metals market and are subject to change without notice.
In 2015 TJ accepted an apprentice. Jan Larson received 250 hours of instruction in TJ's studio then set up her own studio, also in Fairfield, Iowa. Jan now buys cast thimbles and components from Ty, finishes them, then presents them for sale at events across the country. Jan also creates other items of jewelry, including colorful beaded thimble hangers she calls "bobbles" to offer for sale. Jan has a marvelous eye for colorful imaginative combinations.
In 2017 TJ gained a studio assistant, Jenny Sammons. Jenny has more than 15 years of jewelry making experience. She studied art at Maharishi University of Management, and is augmenting her skills in TJ's studio while providing valuable assistance on many levels to the business THIMBLES BY TJ LANE.
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Thimbles by TJ Lane
PO Box 2140
Fairfield, IA 52556
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