Georgia’s Ashley Buchanan draws on historical images when designing her contemporary, powder-coated brass jewelry.
The artist: An Atlanta native, Buchanan, graduated from the University of Georgia in 2009 with a BFA in jewelry and metalsmithing.
For seven years she lived in Tennessee, where she started her business, before moving back to Georgia.
The company: Ashley Buchanan Jewelry is based in Marietta.
The goods & materials: Contemporary jewelry cut from brass, often powder-coated and finished with sterling silver findings. In the newest pieces, Buchanan is leaving the brass exposed and adding a heat patina.
- Using a traditional jeweler’s saw, Buchanan cuts pieces out of brass sheet metal.
- For some of the simpler shapes, she employs some waterjet cutting.
- To apply the color, she uses an industrial process called power coating. This method of painting electrostatically covers the metal with a dry pigment, which is then cured under heat to create a durable uniform finish.
What’s popular: Earrings, such as the asymmetrical long link studs ($70) and the three-piece chandelier MAX earring suite ($225). Also color, like the popular yellow. And now teal.
Other favorites: Chain necklaces ($280 to $420-plus). And brooches in various sizes ($100 to $340-plus).
Fun or unusual request: In 2018, a mother asked Buchanan to create a neck piece, modeled after the iconic collars worn by RBG, for her lawyer-daughter.
She wanted her daughter to feel confident and capable, like the late Supreme Court justice, when she wore it, said Buchanan.
- Being able to quit her restaurant job in 2011 and rely on jewelry to make a living.
- Also the first time she was accepted into the Smithsonian Craft Show in 2015.
Claim to fame: Excellence in Jewelry award at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show in 2018.
Awards & honors: Many including:
- Her work was published in two of the Showcase 500 Series books: Ornament Magazine and Metalsmith Magazine.
- A finalist for American Craft Council’s Emerging Voices Award in 2015 and top awards from other notable craft shows in Richmond and San Francisco.
What’s new: New folded pieces, ranging from drop earrings and studs to neck pieces.
- Accepted to the American Craft Council (craftcouncil.org) online show, April 12-18.
- Experimenting with brass patina.
Where to buy:
- moracollection.com and Mora Jewelry Design in Asheville
Get social at:
- Instagram and facebook: ashleybuchananjewelry