A Lesson in Following Your Passion: Alison Blair Studio, Fall Market Featured Artisan
When life threw Firefly Featured Artisan Alison Stern curves, she pursued her interest in art, kept moving forward and hasn't looked back!. Alison Blair Studio was born and keeps on growing!
FF: How did you begin your handmade journey?
ABS: My handmade journey began out of practicality. Back in 2001, my husband left his job to start his own business. We were left without his previous health insurance and my son and I had pre-existing conditions that made us ineligible for health insurance. In Colorado, if you owned a business that grossed a certain amount each year, you could qualify for "group of 1" insurance, that would allow my son and I to be covered. And so began Alison Blair Studio jewelry designs. True story.
FF: What led you to your current line of goods?
ABS: I had been doing a lot of very delicate designs and was feeling like I wanted to explore other avenues and move out of my comfort zone. I made a giant step by taking a sabbatical from participating in the New York Now wholesale show, so that I could begin studying other mediums. I have been taking metal smith classes and am absolutely hooked on the torch!
FF: What materials do you work with and why?
ABS: Lately, I’ve been loving combining different metals, like brass, copper and silver, and using patinas to create interesting unexpected colors.
FF: Inspiration comes from where?
ABS: My customers often comment on my really pleasing and unusual color combinations. When two colors work, I just know it, intuitively. It was a couple years into my jewelry career before I realized that my combinations were not actually my own. My father was a fine artist who formally studied color for years. At some point I realized that many of my combinations, especially those using purples and browns and ochres, were actually influenced by many of his abstract oil paintings that I grew up around.
FF: What excites you for the future?
ABS: My continued study in different metals and textures.
FF: Any advice for makers and biz entrepreneurs new to our creative community?
ABS: Don't take the rules too seriously. Follow your heart when designing new products. Be open to those pieces that work, and trust when you feel that something falls short.
Shop and visit with Alison Stern of Alison Blair Studio at Firefly Handmade Fall Market, September 17-18, Saturday 11am-7pm & Sunday 11am-5pm, Downtown Boulder Fall Fest on Pearl Street Mall.