I've always loved sculpting and carving ever since I was little playing with Play-doh. I took a pottery class in high school and loved it but didn't like how you needed a kiln to really finish a piece. Since I grew up on a farm that backed onto a forest I was always familiar with tools and using wood for projects around the farm. When I moved to the big city I really missed that natural feel of working with wood so I decided to try my hand at wood carving. It appealed to me since its similar to working with clay but I could finish a piece without needing an oven or kiln. My first piece was a Genie lamp that I carved right after Robin Williams passed away. Needless to say, my wish was granted and I've been carving ever since.
Mainly the wood itself. Each piece I find is different. Since I only use branches that have already fallen to the ground, each one has a different story. Some of them (many of my favourites) have been hollowed out by bugs giving each coin I cut off a true, authentic uniqueness. Things like size, porosity, colour, and grain also play a huge role in deciding which piece becomes what.
What's your favourite design right now?
I'm actually still working on it. I pretty much have a new favourite every week (just check my Instagram!) but I'm really excited for what I'm working on now which combines wood, stone, and a piece brass from a re-purposed garment.
I'm hoping to start selling at vending fairs in the near future but currently am just selling on Etsy and through word of mouth.
Are you interested in making any other types of jewellery?
I've always been an avid rock collector so I'm slowly figuring out how to start carving those to combine them into my jewelry.
Depending on the piece it can take me anywhere for 2-10 hours. I tend to cut and sand larger quantities at once so that I have several to gloss at a time.
Check out the other items available from Ashley in her Etsy shop. You can also find here at:
Facebook: /ashleykingdesign (jewelry plus artwork and photography)
Twitter: (@lovethinkplay (jewelry plus local Toronto storm/weather photos -- she says "I'm a huge weather nerd!!")
Interviewed by Riel from MaBelleNaturelle on June 5, 2015.