Visiting the LAF artists: Alison Dane – jewellery
On Friday I drove up to the village of Walsham le Willows near Bury St Edmunds to visit jeweller Alison Dane. It is a very pretty rural area, and Alison lives in a lovely thatched cottage dating from the mid 1700s. From her back garden there wasn’t another building in sight.
Alison is in the middle of having a studio re-fit, so we had a dining room table meeting! A former art teacher, she has a most intriguing way of making her wonderfully colourful jewellery. She starts by preparing sheets of thin paper by a mixture of printing, stencilling and painting. The paper is cut into strips, the width of the finished bead length. Using a PVA based adhesive the strips are wound tightly round a metal rod such as a thin knitting needle. When they are dry they are completely hard and have a varnished appearance. Alison then assembles them, with other beads to form necklaces, and ear-rings. She also uses other methods of shaping paper to produce wave shaped ear-rings and other items. The results are amazingly light, but strong and wonderfully colourful. She has a real gift for combining colour and pattern.
The photo shows Alison with a tray piled up with her beautiful work, which I’m sure is going to be a hit with our Festival visitors.
Alison does not have a website, but is a full member of the Suffolk Craft Society and has an online presence on their site.