Alison Blair Studio Returns with Simply Beautiful Jewelry
Firefly alumnus Alison Blair continues to innovate and delight with her timeless jewelry designs. Alison’s metalsmithing expertise and creativity shine through every piece. She promises to bring her best sellers as well as new designs when she returns for Firefly Handmade Summer Market on August 24-25. Whether you’re looking for a fun “statement” piece, a charming dog-themed accessory, or anything in between, Alison Blair Studio is sure to please! Continue reading to learn more about Alison and her design process:
You began with knotting delicate jewelry, how has your style evolved?
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 metalsmithing was something I really wanted to learn but it takes a lot of time. One day I literally closed shop on the knotting business and start taking metalsmithing classes. I set up a studio and now spend days and nights with my torch. I absolutely love it!
What inspired you to start designing collections this year?
My designs change with the wind, which pretty much reflects my personality. My friends tell me I should be less eclectic in my designs and stick with one style, but it just isn't me. I get so inspired by new textures, materials, and compositions that I need to express my enthusiasm for it.
Could you tell us more about your technique?
Lately I've been spending a lot of time on the oxidation process. I love dark vs. polished, with a stunning contrasting stone, like ruby or diamond, popping out. Oxidizing—or blackening—lends to such a stormy, dramatic effect that people really respond to.
Have you ever made a piece that you refused to part with?
I have made several pieces for my mom that I don’t sell. 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’s the best advice you ever received?
My dad has always said, "Simplicity is the key to beauty." It really is true for me. I love small, delicate, minimalist pieces and I find that when I know when to stop, I create some of my favorites.
You keep returning! What do you like about being a Firefly Handmade artisan?
I love Firefly for a lot of reasons. Mostly, the promoters are so tuned into the artists. A lot of shows lose sight of the customer—the artist—and produce shows that don't serve the maker. Firefly hasn't lost sight of that. Firefly buyers are also really special. They return over and over because they also appreciate the quality of Firefly artisans and the hard work put into Firefly venues. That circles back to the artists because it keeps a really nice group of our customers coming back.