The Art of Lents

Tami Butterfield and Dave Gonzo talked with us about their passions, botanical oils and sculpture, respectively. They found a home in Lents that allows them to work, study, cultivate their art, and their garden.

When you first walked through your house, what did you notice?

Tami: I bought my house through the Proud Ground Program (an affordable housing non-profit). When I came to the open house I saw potential. Mainly, the yard. I wanted a large yard to grow a garden (food and medicine). The house, I saw the ability to transform it and bring some love to it (there was tragedy in the house prior and the house needed some love). I saw a simple cottage with a beautiful garden. My own sanctuary. 

You call yourself an “oil fairy.” What does that mean to you? Why do you love oils?

Tami: Yes, I call myself an Oil Fairy. What being an oil fairy to me means is that I am an advocate for the plants by way of essential oils (and also herbs and nutrition). I connect people to essential oils to support their needs; mind, body, spirit, home. I have seen many peoples' lives transform from using essential oils. The more I study aromatherapy, biology, and a bit of botany, the more I learn about how essential oils work and am truly amazed by what nature provides. 

What do you most enjoy about your creative work space in the garage?

Dave: I have taken much time in laying out the configuration of my studio for maximum working space, organization, creating, cleanliness and safety, to keep sculptures flowing through smoothly…Also, it requires a positive attitude, thoughts, intention along with having an open heart and mind to allow the muses to work through me. If the studio is feeling stagnant, unbalanced, chaotic or blocked I will smudge it with the doors closed using white sage to clear out and purify that energy.

Are there other artists living nearby in Lents that you interact with?

Dave: There are other artists that live in the area that do many different types of art.  A friend of mine who lives 2 blocks away ( is an amazing artist.  One of her drawings of a dragon gave me the inspiration to create a steel dragon titled 'Draco Pentram'.  I'm also in a business discussion group through PSU Business Outreach Program with an artist in the neighborhood who creates recycled diaries from old vintage books. Aaron Bailey, a block away, did a video for me of the progress of the large sculptural light fixture I was commissioned to make by SERA Architects for the new tasting room at Argyle Winery in Newburg, OR.  

If you could improve one aspect of the Lents neighborhood, what would it be? 

Tami: If I could improve one thing….I really want the Spring Water Trail back. I used to love walking on that trail with my dog, but now, I will not walk there as it is very unsafe now.

Can you name one favorite thing about the neighborhood?

Tami: Nature is my favorite thing about Lents. In the spring, the frogs breed. You can hear them at night. I love sitting in my backyard and listen to them. (I hope to attract some to my pond).  The birds too, so many birds. 

Dave: My vision for Lents is to have a very connected and compassionate community with folks of all talents, ethnicities, backgrounds, ideas,...Basically people who look out and help each other, come together for growth, change and good times in connecting, creating and making the neighborhood, city and world a joyful place to live. We are on that path already and I'm doing my best to help that growth and connection within Lents in hopes that it will spread.   

Recipe for Bath Salts

Tami: Super simple to make. This particular blend I made for Dave to support tired, achy muscles. 



Pink Himalayan salt (medium to fine; Winco has this in bulk)

Dead Sea salt

Epsom salt

Tami: I tend to kitchen witch the things I make. Meaning, it’s a pinch of this, handful of that. Measuring is done by sight, touch, smell.  So...I’ve given approximate amounts.

  • I use a large wooden bowl and mix with a wooden chopstick. I like using wood to make my salts. 
  • Mix 1 cup of each salt together (will have 3 cups of salt total). The texture will be course with a bit of fine texture too. 
  • After mixing the salts to this add essential oils. I use doTERRA oils: Massage blend, Soothing blend, Lemongrass, and White Fir. I use about 10 drops of each oil. They can be adjusted for potency. 

Learn more about Tami Butterfield and Dave Gonzo.

D. Larson, editor