Grace May Ashford
My childhood was spent surrounded by artists and craftspeople. I grew up in a household that lived and breathed art, and had at my fingertips the raw materials and the “grown up” tools to experiment. This left me with an incurable desire to design and create.
Working in my dad's pottery shop, I always felt the most comfortable with clay, but my mom's eye for color as well as being a fiber artist gave me an appreciation for the fact that artistic talent comes in many forms.
Still it took time for me to find my place.
I grew up, spent a decade in Europe, started a family, and returned to the United States before I found the medium that suited my personality and my particular approach to design.
Thankfully, it is also a medium that fits with my life as a mother of four. My children are a huge inspiration. Their love of life and ability to notice the smallest bits of beauty in the strangest of places keeps me smiling and reminds me to keep my eyes open to the world around us. In a very different way, my years abroad, and my experience with different cultures have left me with a profound interest in the amazing variety of human experience, and a willingness to experiment without fear of failure.
When making jewelry I am continually struck by how a piece evolves and grows during the process. Sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and I am merely helping it find the right form. Other times I settle on a specific design, and struggle to achieve the picture in my head. In either case, the outcome is always a piece that has a unique character, and its own story to tell.