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Get to know.... Alys Power.

Updated: Mar 1

This week we are getting to know our founder and lead tutor Alys.

She does a bit of everything in the jewellery school. She's a tutor, chef, cleaner, accountant, marketer, social media manager, shelf stacker, snack procurer, planner, organiser, author and general go to person for all our happenings.

How did you get started?

I've always loved making things and being creative. I did a degree in the early 2000's in Sustainable Craft and Making at the University of Derby and while we never made jewellery it really made me adventurous and fearless in my materials and techniques. My work is still quite varied and I still love exploring a new tool or process. In 2014 I went back to uni and did an MA in Contemporary Jewellery at Nottingham Trent which helped me to refine my work and really engage with my style of jewellery.

I started teaching in 2011, initially I taught at different locations - craft shops, museum's, arts centres and galleries - lugging all my hammers and anvils around in a suitcase!! In 2014 I worked with the team at the (now sadly missed) Focus Gallery on Derby Road to set up Nottingham Jewellery School. After 5 happy years at the gallery I took on the jewellery school full time and moved it to it's current location in Sherwood.

Describe your own work?

My work begins on paper. I draw to discover and learn, inspired by the natural and man-made world around me. Recording my observations, experiences and responses creating a bank of visual inspiration .

These studies are continued in a 3D form in my jewellery, a continuation of the same visual language. Each piece of jewellery is a sculptural exploration of colour, texture, line, form, and pattern. I aim to embody an aesthetic of imperfect simplicity. To reduce each design element to it's simplest and most refined form whilst maintaining the spontaneity and energy of the work

I work in a range of materials - metal, wood, stone, enamel - exploiting materials qualities to create a visual narrative. I hand build pieces through layering and assemblage of individual components.

Who's work do you really admire?

I love the enamelling of Rachel Brown, Amanda Denison and Mizuki Takahashi. The pieces I currently wear most are by Laurie from Twice Taken.

What's your favourite tool?

It's not the most glamourous tool in the workshop but I do adore a piercing saw. I also really do love my collection of vintage hammers.

What's on the tool wish list?

After seeing a demo I would love to have a laser welder to play with. I have my eye on the dado 2 from Freeform Fabrication.

Where do you work?

I'm really fortunate to have my own workshop at home. It's a converted 1930's garage with a beautiful vaulted ceiling and views over the trees and garden. It's always chaos but it's a lovely sunny space and one of may favourite places to spend time.

What class do you enjoy teaching the most?

I love teaching all my classes but there is something very special about introducing new students to the world of the jewellery workshop. Seeing them fall in love with jewellery making - just like I did - is always such a joy.

I also really love teaching people about the jewellery design process. Allowing them to see the potential in work an idea through from initial inspiration to final design. I wrote a book in 2020 call Jewellers Creative Journal on the creative design process.

Where can we see more?

You can see my work and find out about any upcoming events on my website or follow me on instagram to see what I am up to day to day.

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