In 2000 Tory received her BFA from Cornish College of the Arts focusing on drawing and mural photography. She spent the next 5 years employed in the industrial print and signage industries while co-founding the curatorial group Sublevel 3 and the SS Marie Antoinette art studios. She also volunteered to help set up the original screen printing studio at The VERA Project in Seattle.
She received her MFA focusing on print and paper installation in 2007 from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers. While attending graduate school she was a intern at Dieu Donne in New York assisting the master papermakers. After graduating she participated in an intern exchange at Singapore Tyler Print Institute assisting Ghada Amer produce handmade paper, lithography, screen printed and flocked artist proofs.
When Tory returned to the states she returned to signage fabrication in Philadelphia, and started combining the commercial processes and industrial materials that were around her every day in her installations. Living in a city steeped in murals and public art made her question the timelines and personal fulfillment of most gallery installation work. She decided to transition to public works that could be seen by a larger audience. Upon returning to the Pacific Northwest in 2010 she focused on rebuilding her portfolio with temporary installations inspired by folk tales. These works were created for Arts-A-Glow festival, Portland Winter Light festival, Bellwether 18, Mad Art, Storefronts Seattle, Storefronts Auburn, The VERA Project, Spaceworks Tacoma and The Renton Arts Commission.
In 2012 she received Artist Trust’s GAP grant to procure a Graphtec vinyl plotter which became integral to creating cut vinyl and screen print films for these installations. Tory started building out Grey Gardens studio with this technology purchase, which grew to include a sound proof machine room for an X-Carve CNC router and Glowforge laser cutter and a screen print studio with a Cincinnati one arm press she refurbished during the pandemic. She also helped build out a ceramics studio for her sibling Eroyn Franklin, and they are currently working on opening the studio up to other working artists.
In 2014 Tory completed Four Seasons, a year-long window residency at the tutoring center 826 Seattle, which changed every few weeks focusing on four global tales themed to the seasons throughout the year. She designed a workshop for grade school students where the kids wrote their own folk tales and created a series of shadow puppet shows that were performed for the public. For this body of work she received a City Artists project grant from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and a 4Culture project grant to learn how to produce laser cut puppets.
Tory created her first permanent window piece with Eroyn Franklin for Harborview Medical Center in 2015. This piece utilized digital prints on clear vinyl to create a stained glass like glow which led her into other light based projects like the human scale lanterns for Burien’s Arts-A-Glow festival and branched into fabricating kinetic toy theaters the last few years.
Eroyn and Tory are currently finalizing designs for several sites at Sound Transit’s Star Lake lightrail station that will open in 2024. The focal piece consists of 6 vignettes on the platform windows of compositions populated with indigenous edible plants with landmasses of patterns based on global edible plants. It will be digitally printed with ceramic ink. There is a breezeway between the two sides with back lit laser cut aluminum panels in the ceiling and walls that relates to the patterns in the glass. For the last year the construction of a third piece has been ongoing on the retaining wall that allows the train to leave the station which is also the backdrop for the play field at Mark Twain Elementary. This design is built from repeats of 4 figures and 2 ball bounces creating a mountainous landscape.