Meet Guest Designer Alison Tarry
Hi Alison, can you tell us a little bit about you and your history in jewellery making?
Born and bred in North Wales, studied zoology at university (though my best subject was art, I also love science). Grown up crafting be it jeweller, knitting, leatherwork, pottery, metal work, candle making, sewing, anything I can access really. When Gems started Mum became an avid customer and as presents of jewellery began so did my return to jewellery making in earnest.
What’s your speciality when it comes to jewellery making?
Ah, well, here again I do like variety. When I returned to jewellery making I was certain I would mainline in chainmaille but then I discovered wirework and the rest as they say is history! I would say my specialities on JM are wirework, seed beading and leather working but I love it all.
How long have you been in the jewellery industry?
I have worked in the industry for about 11-12 years and joined JM nearly 9 years ago this year.
Do you have a day job?
Yes, I’m a full time Guest Designer for JewelleryMaker.
Tell us about your favourite moment on JewelleryMaker?
I have many many fond moments on JM over the years so it's hard to choose. I have worked with amazing people both in front and behind the camera. I guess my favourite moment though was when my rocking horse (they got me my job) was shown on the wall of fame. I still have the recording of the show saved!
What first piqued your interest in jewellery making?
I suppose initially it was dolls as a child, I spent far more time making jewellery, clothes and furniture for my dolls than I ever spent playing with them.
What is your favourite piece of jewellery in your personal collection?
I put my love into every piece I make but one of my favourites are an early wirework piece that I made about 10 years ago and still wear now. It's copper and kyanite and I love it. And a woven bare copper and Opal piece, the opals are incredible.
What is your favourite piece of jewellery you’ve ever made?
I love bib style necklaces, but I do not have the right shape to wear them, I have made a few over the years that are still favourites, the pearl one was made with some of my first pearls from JM, a real indulgent piece and more recently the Native American inspires beaded choker. Wish I could get away with wearing them.
What do you enjoy the most about being on JM?
What is not to love about doing your dream, the people I work with are amazing and the viewer interaction is fantastic. We really are one big family.
If you were an animal, which would you be and why?
Wrong question to ask a zoologist! It's like saying pick your favourite child. All animals inspire me, visually but also with their outlook on life and their lack of prejudice. We can learn a lot from them.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in jewellery making?
DO IT!!! If you are not sure what you think will be your field, try out different ones either by getting kits or by attending workshops, then just jump in. Remember Rome wasn't built in a day and usually techniques need to be practiced. Don't be put off by "beginner-advanced" labels, if you like it then have a go. But most importantly find the genre(s) that you enjoy and have fun.
Where can we follow your future adventures?
JM Guest Designer Alison Tarry Facebook Page
Alison Tarry Designs Facebook Page