A little about us and our techniques...
Tamara Culp & Robin Mason are sister and brother whose middle names are Alison and Lee respectively, thus Alison Lee Jewelry. They enjoy sharing ideas and new techniques but work seperately on their handcrafted, one of a kind pieces. Robin and Tamara can be found together in their booth at their various shows throughout the year.
Tamara fell in love at first sight with metal clay in 2006 after half a lifetime of drawing, painting and other less satisfying pursuits. Because of early childhood experiences helping her mother build phantasmagorical adornments in porcelain clay, the sculptural properties of metal clay felt like coming home. Metal clay is a mixture of metal particles (either Gold, Fine Silver, Copper or Bronze)milled flour fine plus organic binders (different manufacturers use different binders) and water. When the metal clay is fired in a kiln at around 1650 degrees Fahrenheit the water and binders burn away and you are left with a pure metal object.
Robin took the siblings early lessons in wire wrapping sterling silver and began applying old fashioned blacksmithing techniques for cold joining. He then turned to using copper and steel almost exclusively. Robin finds great enjoyment applying judicious hammer strokes to the malleable copper. The warm copper hues, whether heat patinated or natural, make a striking pairing with the stark grey of the steel.
Both artisans appreciate the wide variety of precious and semi-precious gems and minerals available. They observe environmentally safe practices in the workshop and make it a point to avoid the use of hazardous materials. Robin is fond of recycled, found materials and Tamara's metal clay is partially made up of recycled metals.
Alison Lee Jewelry is a labor of love that shows in each handcrafted, one of a kind piece of jewelry they make.
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