Ashley Gilreath : I Am Who They Were

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful and talented artist Ashley Gilreath. It was a chance encounter at a mall right outside of Philadelphia. She mentioned she was a metalsmith and it had my curiosity went wild. The way she described her work was so passionate I knew it had to be spectacular.

That night I sat down at my computer and visited her website. Seeing her work for the first time I was floored. The first image you see on the site is of my favorite piece "I Am Who They Were."

The frames are cast in silver and bronze and were set with microscope glass printed with a trnasparent decal so her skin could show through highlighting her connection with the family photos.

This necklace was made to represent the memory of my grandparents' long staircase in their house. I want the viewer to see my history as the necklace wraps around, and to feel the sensation of climbing up and down the stairs as the images of my family line the walls. More importantly, I wanted my skin to show through as my family's skin, so that my stories, my life and who I am as an individual is shown as the sum of all of the people that came before me.

Upon exploring her site I saw many more brilliant pieces including this powerful silver piece titled "Until We Meet Again"

She also has a more commercial side, with boraches, necklaces, bangels and more currently on an Etsy shop located here.

Here is a sample of her more commercial work.

Please check her out on her website and support her on her etsy


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