with the work of Alison Bailey Smith.
I first met Alison when I was 15 through a local boutique called Punch Gallery. I had just finished work experience with the shop and Alison was working there part time. I remember being fascinated with all of her pieces, made from recycled materials including television wires and lollie wrappers.
My mother bought quite a few pieces of her work including 2 amazing hats. One being a smokey blue and copper viking hat and the other an ethereal 1950's style hat made out of knitted thin television wire and adorned with quail feathers (and a matching fan). At the time I never fathomed that jewellery could be fashioned out of such things. Her items truly are wearable art. Every twist, loop and link will take you on a sculptural journey of discovery. I love the concept of creating something beautiful and unique out of thrown away materials that are usually discarded as already serving their purpose.
A beautiful flower brooch "grown" from toothpaste tubes and other packaging
One of Alisons crowns
Detail of the "Fisher Queen" hat
*All images are from 'Abscraft' Flickr and show the beautiful work of Scottish artist Alison Bailey Smith
Soon after getting to know Alison and her work she moved back to her homeland of Scotland and I stayed on to work at Punch Gallery. Before she left she handed me a big pink plastic crate full of television wire and said "see what you can come up with". I made bowls, ornaments and even tried my own crown (I failed miserably). I started to try my hand at brooches and introduced beads into my work. It was through this process that I developed a love for creating jewellery.
One of my wire brooches
I credit Alison for all that I do. She was such an inspiration to me and still is. You MUST have a look at her work. Her blog is called ABSCRAFT and it gives you an insight into Alisons work and her sense of responsibility towards recycling (one that I think we all can learn from).
You will be blown away.