We are thrilled to welcome recent Philadelphia transplant, Ashley Gilreath to our roster of artists. Ashley graduated from East Caroline University in North Carolina with her BFA in metal design in 2010 and then went on to exhibit her work across the country, teach and hold various artist residencies, most recently at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee. Her multiple lines of beautifully sculpted jewelry are inspired by the “decay of memories, architecture, and heirloom objects”. We are really excited to carry a few of her lines of jewelry in the shop! Here is a look at each series of jewelry that we are carrying PLUS a statement by Ashley about each one. Enjoy!
Pieces within this series are inspired by broken and decaying wooden fences, barns, or farming equipment. I’m interested in the process through which these functional structures are built, utilized, and abandoned over time. I enjoy how splitting and water marks on the surface of the wood provides a visual timeline for the life of these crafted objects. – Ashley Gilreath
These earrings are made out of sterling and fine silver water castings. During the casting process the silver is poured into cold water and as it sinks it cools very quickly, and forms these little cups! Sometimes looking like nests, drops, or blobs, I save the best formed cups and fill them with colored glass! Enameling is a process that allows for fusing glass to metal, and it adds a wonderful reflective dimension to these earrings!
– Ashley Gilreath
This body of work explores the tradition of writing notes and inscriptions upon the inside covers of books, and how a confluence of stories and people come together to create these objects. The words of the characters, the choices of the author, the artists of the covers, the writers of the secret inscriptions, and the owner of the book all effect how an individual would interpret the personal messages. Through time, as the book passes from hand-to-hand, these stories continue a dialogue whose original intimacy has faded.
The designs in this series are directly influenced and inspired by the gardens of my past, specifically the hydrangeas that my mother rooted from her childhood home in Louisiana and brought with her to North Carolina. This transplanting of roots from one place to another directly reflects the paths we follow in life, and how home is given new meaning through time.
These flowers are so delicate, their blooming so quick and fleeting, yet their impression on our senses endures. I attempted to merge those characteristics into a wearable object, so that one could wear a shadow of the blossom.
Check out our full collection of Ashley’s Jewelry here and visit the shop to see it all in person! Any of her pieces would make a wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day!