Tuesday Winslow is a true renaissance woman—electrician, Marine Corps veteran, now a papier-mâché artist who turns “trash into treasure” with her décor company, Mirrors Decorated.
Shopping at Mirrors Decorated is a way to shop green, one-of-a-kind pieces for your home or office. Made by hand, Winslow sells wall and wood mirrors uniquely decorated by papier-mâché using materials like maps, stamps, newspaper, and colored, recycled paper and configured in globally inspired shapes.
“My father told me I would never make it as an artist,” Winslow confides.
“I probably didn’t start wrestling with it until I became older,” she says. “Before we were told how to think, I was bold.”
She recalls her childhood growing up in Washington, DC, and attending parties at art galleries where she sipped on champagne underage and explored the Library of Congress.
Winslow’s bold streak is not something that has disappeared, as seen by her vast life experiences. Everything she has done and learned has led to this, from the skills she picked up as an electrician to her discipline in the military and the artistry she began to perfect in high school at Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
“I learned to plaster, I learned sculpting, I learned a lot of things,” she says. “That, in addition to the library, where it was like a scene out of Matilda, coming home on the subway with all these art books, is when I picked up papier-mâché.”
Papier-mâché was a natural fit for Winslow who wanted to pursue an art form that was inexpensive and non-toxic.
“I was artistically rich and cash poor,” she says mirthfully.
A year after she left the Marine Corps, Winslow decided to once and for all be a living artist. Though her military days were behind her, they still informed her work as an artist as she began to create papier-mâché mirror creations.
One source of inspiration was Mayan codices, folding books made of paper, and another was her time stationed in Okinawa, Japan.
“They took the industrial concept, the manufacturing process and perfected it,” she says of what she observed and learned while living in Japan. “It’s their use of color and innovation. I fell in love, I was like, ‘These artists are really craftsmen.’”
Winslow’s favorite part of her own art is attaching the mirror to her papier-mâché pieces, because it was something that stumped her at first. The process was trial and error, and when she eventually figured out a way that worked, it made her art pieces all the more satisfying.
“It’s easy to get discouraged and frustrated, you make mistakes and things don’t work out. But then you find a solution.”
These wins are what Winslow chooses to focus on.
“I can't afford to focus on man's inhumanity to man no matter what form it takes. Yes, discrimination and oppression exist, whether it is in the family or from the outside world, but it's only aim is to separate and cause fear and harm,” she explains. “My battlefield is my own mind. My decisions, my disciplines, faith in God and believing He has a good plan for me that no man can stop is where I work at keeping my focus.”
There are many stories of people overcoming oppression and discrimination, and those are the stories Winslow loves best.
“Statistically, women and people of color are underrepresented in business. But if that’s all that’s talked about, it’s what we’re going to focus on. But then you look at people who overcame hardship and they’re doing some fabulous things all over the world.”