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An artist who uses baking as her medium to inspire self acceptance and community empowerment.

TARA JENSEN - BAKER, AUTHOR, TEACHER

 Drawing by Kreh Mellick

Drawing by Kreh Mellick

Tara Jensen is a baker, teacher, artist and author. Her approach to personal and professional life is the same: don't let your fear get in the way of your dreams.

Tara combines professional baking and art making to provide her students and community with thoughtful classes and food experiences. Her passion for radical education and alternative ways of life sprouted as a young philosopher, researching intimacy at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Upon completing her B.A in Human Ecology she became part of a study group at the Institute for Social Ecology that would then go on to start the Black Sheep Book collective. A fondness for social change through informal learning was further cemented by her participation running a multi-purpose art space and gallery named Fort Can. She continued from the academic world to purse installation art and had several solo shows on the topic of feminism in Tokyo, Japan, curated by Hanna Fushihara.

Jensen found baking as a soulful trade that embodied her theoretical and artistic ideals in a single, steaming, crusty loaf. Starting her professional career as a baker while still in college, Tara has worked in several different bakeries across the country. Most notably, Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex, VT and Farm & Sparrow in Candler, NC. Steadily working her way through all aspects of running a bakery, from bread and pastry production, to management, to customer service, developing mission statements and vending at farmers markets, Tara has a solid grasp of what makes a bakery tick. She began Smoke Signals in 2012 to develop her own baking practice.

Tara now devotes her working hours to facilitating workshops on naturally leaved baking and wood fired ovens to participants from around the world. She recently married an Aries who truck broke down in her driveway and is on the hunt for a puppy, splitting her time between the Smoke Signals homestead in Marshall and her new life with her husband in the coal fields of Southwestern Virginia. She is anticipating the release of her first book, A Bakers Year, by St. Martin’s Press on Valentine’s Day 2018. When not freshly milling flour for pancakes and chopping wood Tara enjoys a good cup of hot coffee and listening to Maggie Rodgers at top volume.

 

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