Moose Spotlight: Creating Beauty Inside a 1913 Brick Building
Deciding to pursue a passion for creating things solely with your hands is influenced by many factors. For Alison, her childhood experiences contributed to her interest in creating. As the youngest of three kids, Alison started learning how to tinker to fix her hand-me-down toys at a young age. Her interest in developing things with her hands stemmed from her ingenuity and appreciation of nature’s beauty.
In her studio located in the Sawtooth Building, a historic brick building in Berkeley, Alison finds solace in expressing herself through creating jewelry. She shares her top-notch skills and knowledge with students all over the country by traveling to host workshops. Teaching allows her to inspire those who are interested in learning this craft.
Being a metalsmith teacher comes with trials that are overcome by trusting oneself. Alison’s first time teaching a workshop pushed her to go out of her comfort zone. At the time, she had to take the place of a great and renowned teacher.
“Very first time I taught a workshop was at Mendocino Arts Center in a studio where I learned from a great teacher, I had to fill big shoes.”
For Alison, developing a new workshop is one of the more challenging activities that metalsmith teachers do. Developing a new workshop entails innovatory thinking and clear communication.
“It takes time and creative thought to step outside of yourself and be able to communicate it with students.”
As a creator, Alison highly values the right combinations of stones. She does not limit herself to specific types of gems. Her work uses stones that have varying colors, shapes, and textures. These details come together and make up marvelous pieces.
“I don’t limit myself to certain types. I only ask if they have certain colors that I want and work from what they have. We will never know what’s out there until we see it.”
Alison pushes rising creators to do the same with her top advice:
“Never limit yourself. Push yourself to unknown territories, even when it’s uncomfortable. Getting to the other side will inevitably increase your skill, knowledge, and design.”
Check out Alison's website to learn more about her classes: