Meet the Maker: Alison Blair Studio
"It took many years – 30-some – for the creativity my father passed on to me, to manifest in what is now my alter ego: Alison Blair Studio Metal Works. My father’s mantra: “The key to beauty is simplicity” guides my hand as I etch, saw, solder, and form metal into unique and lovely jewelry designs and accessories. Mountain necklaces, whimsical dog-themed accessories, geometric earrings, and sometimes slightly-political statement pieces are just a sampling of what you’ll find when you visit my booth – a space that recalls my father’s studio of my childhood, with beetle-kill tables and stained wood boxes and handmade displays." We are grateful you found your passion Alison!
Let's start at the beginning. When did you discover you wanted to be a jewelry designer?
I never knew I wanted to be a jewelry designer. In 2001 I started making jewelry. I sold a few pieces and the rest is history.
You began with knotting delicate jewelry, how has your style evolved and why?
I made hand-knotted jewelry on silk cord for about 14 years. It was a strong business and I loved working with various stones and colors. But I had no time to learn new techniques and I was feeling trapped. I had always felt that metal smithing was something I really wanted to learn but it takes a lot of time. So one day, literally, I decided to close shop on the knotting business and start taking metal smithing classes. I set up a studio and spend days and nights with my torch. I absolutely love it.
Have you ever made a piece that you refused to part with?
I have made several pieces for my mom, which we do not sell. But I'm not too sentimental about my own jewelry because I always make sure I can make myself a new one.
What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
My workspace is actually being remodeled, which will give me a lot more space and organization. I'm so excited for that. But my favorite thing about my workspace is that it's where I have other people's art hanging. Every piece means something special to me.
What characteristic do you admire most in other makers?
I have a very short attention span and have never been a straight-line, perfect circle kind of girl. I just can't do it. So when I see an artist who meticulously finishes her piece, or whose design is intricate and multitasked, I'm in awe.
Visit with Alison and see her beautiful creations at our Firefly Handmade Fall Market, this weekend, Sept. 14, 15, + 16, on the world famous Pearl Street Mall!
To see more from her collections, visit: