Skip to main content

Georgia Mountain Laurel Magazine

Simply Cardboard is Simply Gorgeous!

Apr 03, 2017 01:19PM ● By Tracy McCoy

What comes to mind when I say the words cardboard art? I guarantee you it isn't what you are thinking! I was told about Tari Ramos' art by her mother. I thought “Oh, you know us mothers, we always think our child's art is special.” My mom kept things I had made that were pretty bad. So I didn't know what to expect when I pulled in the driveway of the Ramos home in Habersham County.

I walked towards the door and it opened and Tari came out to greet me. I walked in and immediately thought she had a lovely home. Very beautiful décor. We exchanged small talk and I noticed some really intricate pieces on her kitchen table. A couple rabbits and a large wall hanging. “This is my art,” she gingerly said. “These things were made from CARDBOARD?”, I thought aloud. I was honestly amazed. But this was just the beginning. There was a half circle accent table with a distressed finish that had more items on it. “I made the table years ago,” Tari said. “You are kidding right??” I joked. “No, I really made it and the wall tree too,” she exclaimed as she took a seat on it. When she pointed to the corner curio cabinet full of dishes and declared it was also one of her pieces, I had to sit down too!

Tari, born in Minnesota is the daughter of missionaries so living around the world and growing up on the mission field is an accurate description of her upbringing. She attended high school and college in Minnesota and then she returned to Brazil where she met and married Guy Ramos. The Ramos family makes their home in Clarkesville, Georgia. Guy is an agent at Headwaters Realty and Tari works with Prevent Child Abuse, Habersham's First Steps program. The couple has two amazing and beautiful daughters Lanae, a student at Piedmont College and Nina, a student at the University of North Georgia.

Several years ago Guy had a truck load of cardboard, really nice big sheets that he was going to take to the recycling center but got there too late. Tari saw it in his truck and saw potential in it. “I thought of all of the things that I could possibly make with it.” She asked him if she could unload it in the basement and like any respectable art and craft lover, she got on Pinterest and YouTube. She had heard of quilling a technique used with paper and she adapted it to use with her cardboard. “I would glue six or eight layers of cardboard and layers of tape and more glue and layers.” She would make a frame of cardboard in different shapes like her crosses or animals like bears or giraffes and then take smaller strips that she folded in different patterns and fit inside to create unbelievable patterns. Guy and Tari work as a team with him doing all of the cutting for her. Tari uses paint strategically to add just the right amount of color. Her art is so tasteful and beautiful that you'd never in a million years know it was cardboard.

She has made furniture, home décor, ornaments and many, many gifts. She began to have quite an inventory and she began to do art and craft festivals like Clarkesville's Mountain Laurel Festival and Taste of Clarkesville. As you'd guess her art was very well received and demand began to overwhelm this creative lady. What was her passion became like a job and she slowed down. She had some space in a shop downtown and just did a little art here and there, but admits that she sees things all the time that she knows she could make. A piece of cardboard that you or I might put in the box to take to recycle is her “canvas” and she sees it as that.

The movement of up-cycling instead of tossing things is so popular and really important. Tari's work is so unique and special and all she needed to reignite her passion was some praise and an upcoming festival. So she is working diligently to fill her booth at Celebrate Clayton on April 29th & 30th. I have already made a list of the things I want to buy for my home and my friends and I can't wait. You just have to come and check it out, and take my advice and bring your pocketbook with you.

You can follow Tari's art and see many photos of things she has created by finding her on Facebook by searching Simply Cardboard. Tari Ramos can be reached by e-mailing [email protected]

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Georgia Mountain Laurel's free newsletter to catch every headline