Artist Allison Bruenger incorporates many different materials into her fascinating jewelry designs. Visit her website to see more of her work.
I have had a love for art since I can remember, as I was born into a family of creative people. My father Ashburn was a photographer. He took photos of all types of subject matter. His portfolio covered everything from sports figures to the world of entertainment from the 1940’s and 50’s. His sense of composition truly showed in his works, and he had a passion for “capturing the shot”.
He took photos of many models as well, and his sister was a hat designer. That is where he met my mother. My mother, Katie, is an artist in her own right as well. In her later career, she became a teacher’s aid and taught art to elementary children in the Detroit Public Schools. To this day, she loves to sketch and create projects for others with her artistic flair. Looking at how both my brother is a computer guru and my sister a musician, I realize I had no chance of being anything but creative.
I started my creative journey very young. I have been drawing and painting since I could remember, and having a creative family is definitely a blessing. I studied Fashion Design and Illustration at Cass Technical High School. I received a scholarship to Columbus College of Art and Design, where I received my BFA in Retail Advertising. These areas of study are a true influence in my wearable art jewelry line.
When I started my mixed-media jewelry line, my main goal was to find a way to merge my passion for metal and visual art into a cohesive body of work. I started earning my second degree at Maryville University, and was blessed to be paired up with a wonderful teacher, Sherri Jaudes. She helped me to develop a way to incorporate my original drawing, paintings and collages into my metalwork. My main technique of choice is using a “rivet” cold connect to layer and “frame” my works of art.
I have a love for copper. Although I also incorporate sterling silver and brass into my designs, copper is my go-to metal. The color of copper is so warm that it enhances my two-dimensional art. You can create so many wonderful looks with copper through patina as well.
I am inspired by nature and also the female image. Nature has such a vast amount of areas for me to pull from that I never tire of. My love for drawing the female image comes from my early Fashion Illustration years. Women from all walks of life are so beautiful that they are a perfect complement to my designs. I also love working with abstract designs. It gives me the opportunity to play with more colors and forms that are great additions to my metal design also.
All of my major pieces are one-of-a-kind. I sketch out each design; then I use it as a template for constructing the design. I create a new drawing or painting for every piece where I incorporate art. I don’t reuse my drawings. I want the buyer to feel really special that they own the original design.
My future goal is to begin to incorporate more gemstones, found objects, and fabrics to my designs. I want to introduce more techniques of adding color to my metals such as enamels and inks. I’m also signing up for new class and workshops to learn more techniques and to broaden my horizons. I want my design not to be “Jewelry”, but “Art” that you happen to wear.