What: Metals, stones, feathers, beads and repurposed objects fused to create dainty but bold jewelry. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets and rings range from $10 to $75.
Who: Laura Allison, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s gallery programs coordinator.
How: Artistic from a young age, Allison first began creating jewelry as a middle schooler 15 years ago. “I find the process to be very cathartic and fulfilling,” she said, remembering how her mother used to read to her while she worked. Allison then went on to pursue a BA in studio art at the College of Charleston where she continued to make jewelry and sell her one-of- a-kind pieces at the open air Charleston City Market. Now, she spends her extra time making jewelry available for purchase at Paper|Cut Gallery.
Something old, something new: Allison uses wire, elastic and thread to unite different materials, especially “repurposed treasures” – beads she received from a friend’s Filipino grandmother, interesting pieces of metal broken off of keychains, chunks of rock, agate or old broaches. Not only does Allison love how upcycled materials give each article of jewelry its own story, she is also inspired by each “found” item’s transformation: “It is rewarding when I am able to take something that was lost, broken or would have been cast aside by others and give it new life. I enjoy finding potential beauty and purpose in ordinary objects or materials,” she said.
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Favorite piece: Allison usually wears a different earring in each ear – one long and one short. Her favorite earring is about a foot long, made from a repurposed sterling silver rope chain necklace securing a ceramic bead that belonged to her late grandmother. Why does she love it so much? Aside from the sentimental value, Allison describes the piece as “simple in design and strong in effect.”
Find it: See her work on Instagram: @creationsbyla and at Paper|Cut Gallery: papercutgallery.com; order custom pieces by emailing her at LauraAllison@gmx.com.
Find more CLT Made goods by searching the Observer website for that title, or on the “CLT Made” Pinterest page.