“I make jewellery inspired by antique treasures and the stories they tell. Heirlooms passed through generations building significance. I have strong memories of secretly discovering my Mum’s jewellery box as a child, trying on each piece and wondering at their hidden histories.
The Catkin Collection draws on a pattern seen long ago on an antique ring. A memory which lay dormant for more than 10 years until I came to make my own wedding ring when I gave myself the time to develop my unique technique of layering sometimes hundreds of tiny disks to make a pattern reminiscent of the Spring catkin flower.
Alison set up her workshop in 2003 after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art. Following 10 years in Glasgow she is now back in the Dumfriesshire countryside where she grew up.
The studio is on the main street of the village of Thornhill. It’s a space filled with inspiration, printing trays full of treasures, pavement finds and a pin board covered in magazine cuttings and postcards.
Alison has surrounded herself with a small team of individuals each highly skilled in their fields. It is important to Alison to design and have a hand in making every jewellery piece giving it her own unique style and never compromising on quality of craftsmanship.
At our workbenches our favourite tools are all at hand, piercing saws, tweezers, soldering torches, files, mallets and planishing hammers.
Alison starts each new piece in silver, building up the unique Catkin design by soldering every ‘scale’ in place. She cuts the finished silver pattern to shape then juxtapose it with stones to create a balanced composition. A mold is then made and the final piece is cast in gold or platinum giving it one solid stable form into which the stones are set.