Grace Ashford’s childhood was spent surrounded by artists and craftspeople. “I grew up in a household that lived and breathed art and had at my fingertips the raw materials and the grown-up tools to experiment.” This upbringing instilled in Grace an incurable desire to design and create.
Grace spent her early adult life living abroad and starting a family, all the while searching for her place through the exploration of different mediums. It wasn’t until she returned to the United States after a decade in Europe that she focused in on jewelry design and silversmithing. “Thankfully, it is also a medium that fits with my life as a mother of four. My children are a huge inspiration. Their love of life and ability to notice the smallest bits of beauty in the strangest of places keeps me smiling and reminds me to keep my eyes open to the world around us. In a very different way, my years abroad, and my experience with different cultures have left me with a profound interest in the amazing variety of human experience, and a willingness to experiment without fear of failure.”
Grace’s designs rarely emerge fully formed, her pieces evolve and grow during her process. “Sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and I am merely helping it find the right form. Other times I settle on a specific design, and struggle to achieve the picture in my head. In either case, the outcome is always a piece that has a unique character, and its own story to tell.”
Few in the Valley are unfamiliar with the Ashford family name – it is synonymous artistic endeavors in the mediums of textile, music, pottery and now jewelry design & silversmithing. With her permanent move to the valley earlier this year, Grace has created a beautiful and inviting studio and retail space within her mother’s Culler Studio on the TwispWorks campus. Culler Studio and Grace Ashford Designs are open limited hours this season and by special appointment.
LOCATION: Culler Studio & Grace Ashford Designs – Building #10 on the TwispWorks Campus. HOURS: Winter hours vary. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org.