You’ve seen Alicia Colina-Ashby’s La Alicia collection a few times on the LAB over the past year or so. I’ve always admired her creativity and her dedicated mission of getting us to see the treasure in what many of us call trash. We see the mountains of junk mail and paper that pass through our lives on a daily basis, Alicia sees jewelry making gold. Have you ever wondered how she does it? Alicia let’s us in on the process:
- I usually check my mail toward the end of the day. I sift through it to see what I want to read and what I want to use to create. (I love getting personal mail but it is so scarce these days.) Then with my handy scissors and craft knife, I get down to the sorting and slicing of the paper. I love to mix pieces of photography with bits of type and textures to.
- Then I get to the folding of it all. This starts with a nice application of hand creme since I detest paper cuts. I carefully select and fold pieces I want next to each other. It’s kind of like a grown up Lego-style meditation. I pick what I think make pretty neighbors based on their contrast, color and texture. Sometimes I only use the text and other times I just use the color and texture. My favorite is to mix the two together. I like making earrings in batches, it just makes more sense that way.
- If it’s the end of a hectic day, I prefer to work in quiet. Having my hands busy really quiets my mind and lets me release the stresses of the day. About thirty minutes later, I feel peaceful and clear again and I’m usually hungry.
- I’ll take a dinner break and come back to what I created earlier and do a little QC check. After a few adjustments and tweaking, it’s time to start sealing. This part is fun but messy. Many people think I seal things with a spray. I don’t use this method since it’s bad for humans and the earth. Instead I use a water based sealer that I paint on with a brush and then hang the earrings to dry overnight. It takes a little longer but it’s totally worth it!
- The last step is to put them on cards. I make my own using reclaimed fiber board and a stamp. Then I handwrite the information and price on the card, place the earrings on the cards with silicone backs, and tuck them away in tissue paper until they are need for a show or a photo shoot.
- This is a recent custom order that I made and I had to giggle that the only vacant spot for them to dry was my in my pin cushion. Totally unconventional but it worked and my friend and client, Patty, was delighted with them.
Be sure to head over to Alicia’s shop for even more of her recycled handmade goodness.