ASHLEY CHILDS

Grey Sheep

University

the school of the art institute of chicago (saic)

Graduation year

2008

ASHLEY CHILDS
BIOGRAPHY

In speaking to Los Angeles-based Ashley Childs, you immediately get a sense of the artisan behind the dynamic sensual jewelry she creates. She is passionate about capturing the feeling of motion, balance and proportion in the forms that comprise her collection. “When people think of sculpture in art or jewelry—they immediately think of stagnant or inanimate objects but there is such a vitality when you determine how to allow the energy and movement to come through in the designs.”

As serious and meticulous as Childs is about her metalsmithing— prior to launching a jewelry collection, she poured bronze and forged iron to create Damascus knives out of steel- she also has a humorous side to her which is revealed from time to time. “Does this sound like a dude’s bio,” she quips when reading the last few sentences.

But it is Ashley’s badass approach and belief in the lasting value of metal as wearable art—bold, sensual “dynamic fine jewelry” as her tagline reads, which propels her to create pieces that are not only beautiful in their execution but tactile and sculpted to move with the feminine form and take on the lines and curves of a woman’s fingers, wrist and neck.

When asked if she was into jewelry as a young girl, she explains, “I was always working with my hands. My dream of creating a piece of jewelry was realized through selling my first pair of beaded earrings on the playground when I was in 4th grade. They were of the time period and really not very attractive but I guess one of my class mates thought they were worthy of being worn.”
In high school, she continued to experiment with different mediums as a hobby and sold more of the found object type of pieces to friends and family, “who, sort of had to buy them to help build my confidence,” she smiles.

With a blood-line consisting of engineers, she also had to know how everything worked. “My obsession around movement first began with clocks and how they were made, which then began to translate into how all things are made,” Ashley explains.

In college, she was involved with silver-gelatin printing, portrait photography, interior architecture, wood-shop, ceramics, light-metal casting, mold-making, sculpting with plaster of Paris, and when she spent a year abroad in Prague, she was part of creating a giant fabric installation. She first learned the art of iron forging when she traveled to Buenos Aires and worked with a crew on a project. “I’ve always been intrigued by different mediums, learning what I can from others and investigating the process, which is so important in any art form,” Ashley adds.

Her first foray into jewelry was when she lived in Chicago, she landed a job with designer, Ellie Thompson, doing her photography, overseeing Ellie’s production and learning history as Ellie appraised jewelry for Leslie Hindman Auction House. This all became part of her collective knowledge and urged her to launch a collection from the pieces she was creating on the side at home.

When she moved back to the West Cost, she worked on each piece slowly, by hand and at the same time built up her aesthetic for the boldness of pared down essential pieces that would wave and dip and curve with an energy that would come to define her collection named Synergy. It was during the summer of 2017 that she launches her collection to press and retailers with confidence and a true understanding of all of the different aspects that brought her to this point. “I will always go that extra mile in the painstaking process of creating and developing designs. They are fine works of sculptural art on their own, when shown in the entirety of my collection it makes sense to the retailer and ultimately the woman who is going to buy and hopefully collect my jewelry. Gold and metalsmithing has lasted throughout the very primitive ancient civilizations to the innovative techniques and tools we have at our fingertips today. My dream is that my pieces and my process will be part of this history of working with our hands to create pieces that women will be proud to wear on their own hands, wrists and necks for years to come.”

For further information contact: Ashley Childs, +1 213 713 3121, info@ashleychilds.com

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