Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Tanglethorne is taking a short break


Note from shop owner Thanks for visiting! My shop is currently on pause while I devote more time to my freelance graphic design biz. Please support my fellow Etsy sellers while I'm away.

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Aug 4, 2022

Thanks for visiting! My shop is currently on pause while I devote more time to my freelance graphic design biz. Please support my fellow Etsy sellers while I'm away.

Tess Richardson

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Tess Richardson


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About Tanglethorne

Sales 5,499
On Etsy since 2009

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A Leap and a Love of Geeks

Like a lot of Etsians, a lifelong crafty streak (fiber crafts, jewelry-making and more), obsessive creativity and desire to be my own boss led me to Etsy. In the beginning, the shop--then called Cold Hands Warm Art--was meant to be a pastime, since I intended to maintain my day job of 14 years as a communications and graphic design professional.

Six months after it opened, and with just a handful of sales, the Etsy shop became more than just a pastime. Severe burnout at my high stress corporate job took its toll and I needed a change. And so, with a parachute the size of a postage stamp, I took the leap, combining my Etsy shop with freelance graphic design.

Though I started out making only jewelry, little by little the shop has grown over the years. When Etsy seller Fluffshop decided to close, I bought out Fluffshop's blank t-shirt inventory and equipment and began to design and create original graphic tees out of my basement studio with the help of my husband, Erik.

Erik and I are huge readers and long-time fans of sci-fi, fantasy and science-y geekdom in general. It's great being able to bounce ideas and designs off each other. When we come up with an idea, it has to pass the "would we wear it" test!

We create each design on the computer, sending it back and forth between the two of us until we're both happy with it. When we get an order, the design is cut out of very thin vinyl. Then, we use a 300 degree F heat press to apply the vinyl to the blank t-shirt--one at a time, and only when they are ordered.

The shop name, Tanglethorne, is a reminder to Erik and me of our first home right after we were married. It was out in the country, on an old farm, and there was a wild rosebush that grew at the corner of our house. No matter how often we cut the bush back, every summer it grew like crazy and threatened to overtake our front door.

So far the shop has also grown steadily, but not quite at such a crazy pace. I think that's good. The shop's rate of growth really enables me to connect with customers, provide them with a great handmade product and personal service. I love working with customers to create one-of-a-kind pieces and having them return later for something new. I love, love, love connecting with fellow geeks and fans. Sometimes we end up discussing our favorite books and movies while messaging back and forth about a custom order.

Shop members

  • Tess

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Curator, Cook And Assistant Dishwasher

    A book nerd and fangirl, Tess has created in crochet, knitting, watercolors, sketching, handspinning, jewelry and t-shirt design. She spent too many years in corporate communications and graphic design before launching her Etsy shop in 2009.

  • Erik

    Maker, Designer, Head Dishwasher And Large Dog Liason

    Erik, AKA

Shop policies

Last updated on January 23, 2023
Welcome to Tanglethorne, formerly Cold Hands Warm Art, a home-based studio in the cold land of Wisconsin, USA. Products are created in a smoke-free environment, but I keep several cats and a big woof nearby to warm up my hands as needed. After all, it's hard to work while wearing mittens. :-)

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Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits

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