It all began with a follow on instagram, a few e-mails back and forth and then a ticket to Hawaii. Yes, the talented Ashley Childs purchased a ticket to Hawaii to meet Kathy, the other Island Fever Sister to work with her on a fashion post featuring her jewelry. You got to love social media!
Kathy instantly hit it off with the warm-hearted LA based jewelry designer, Ashley Childs. Her jaw dropping pieces are unique, delicate and feminine. You can dress them up or down, wearing a white tee or that little black dress. It’s perfect for any occasion!
We love your ethereal jewelry designs. How was it created?
I’ve had an affinity for delicate textures, fabrics & art my whole life. From fine silks to Ansel Adam’s silver-gelatin photographs to Rodin’s and Brancusi’s sculptures, the esthetic of romance in life and art move me completely. After spending years refining my layered chain and fine chain fringe collections, I saw an old, vintage chainmaille purse from the 1940’s hanging on my wall. Since I’ve been taking things apart since I was a kid, I walked over, took it off the wall, grabbed my tools, dove in and cut up the mesh purse. I found the texture, detail and quality of the fine chainmaille mesh was a perfect silk-like metal and the potential of where I could take it was too good to be true. I don’t necessarily draw out designs… rather it’s the materials and shapes I see in my head which drive my designs. The process is 100% organic , each piece influencing the next and after 10 years of trial and error, I’m never going to force my artistic endeavors.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in San Diego, CA, spending most of my life watching the ocean, taking things apart, building lego’s as a kid, and not following the rules. My family has always supported my artistic-streak letting me make mistakes along the way. Later, I transferred to The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an incredible but highly conceptual art-school but I managed to thrive in the metal/wood-shops, bronze and light-metal-casting classes, mold-making and anything hands-on. After working with a fine-jeweler in Chicago I started working on my own pieces and slowly started showing in small art-shows since about 2004.
Where do you find inspiration?
Art – life, textures, waves, couture fashion, architecture, travel, nature, and my intuition and endless tactile curiosities.
What is your go-to piece from your collection?
I have three.
1. My 16″ long triangular draping necklace (simple, striking, perfect alone or layered with other pieces)
2. My personal 22kt Kinetic-Sense long ear-wire earrings. I’ve worn those and a bright blue dress to more weddings than I can count.
3. Ombre Sterling Silver Bracelet, Medium and because its rad, everyone loves touching it and goes with everything. (OUR FAVE!)
Where can we find your pieces?
www.ashleychilds.com and four galleries in Southern California:
JOYA VIDA 348 A South Cedros Ave, Solana Beach California 92075, (858) 481-4800, www.joyavida.com
One gallery in Tulsa, OK:
Any dream collaborations?
I would love to work with a fine-art fashion house – maybe they would incorporate my couture work with their line. I’m not out to become the next Tiffany’s but I know I’m really good at what I do and there are people out there who could understand how far I could take my work. I tend to be impulsive, think big and realize… oh boy… its gonna take a LOT of money to make what I TRULY want to make!
Or… Public park sculptures… but! sculptures kids can crawl around on…. Large, giant, draping, moving-mesh sculptures, esthetically pleasing to the eye but also a fun, hands-on creation for everyone. I’m passionate about things tangible and always find it hard not to touch things. Thinking big is necessary, but it is getting out there and finding the right people who understand your vision which is the hardest struggle. I was able to work with Jim Hubbell through my fellow artist-friend Patti Fox. He creates international peace parks and his life-long influence of beauty and art and helping create change throughout communities is truly inspiring.
What are some accessories you just can’t live without?
My Persol sunglasses (which I have been wearing for 20+years) – and not because of the name – because they are made so well, and have triple-hinges. Flip-Flops, specifically my rainbow flip-flops. They are not expensive, mold to your feet and the original-rainbow-rayon straps don’t stretch. My jewelry, of course – I’m my best advertisement. Save the best for last- Ruthie, my Portuguese Water Dog. She’s a 45 lb. soft fluffy teddy bear.
What is your favorite place to travel to and why?
Any place which requires a passport. This forces you to do some research, learn a new language… if you listen to people around the world, not only will you learn something new – you’ll come home with a completely new perspective of the US. And after 10 years of making jewelry, I find my best fans come from countries like Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Japan…
What are your must-have beauty products?
1. Photoderm MAX spf 100- sunscreen
2. YSL Touche Éclat radiant touch concealer- light, barely there – great for under the eyes (personal favorite of ours!)
3. Covergirl lash blast volume in a bright orange tube
4. Dior Iconic Extreme- last just as long as covergirl’s, and has a great brush
5. Bumble and Bumble Semisumo- hi-shine lo-hold pomade (great for a girl with a twiggy hair cut and fine hair)
What are some things that we will be seeing from you in the future?
Bigger, better pieces – complicated work that looks effortless… editorial-couture pieces with fringe to the floor… mesh for days… the possibilities are endless… all I want to do all day is make things with my hands. As an artist, it is what I eat, breathe and do. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It is who I am.
Mahalo for that interview and we wish you continued success on your line.
Ashley Childs has graciously offered a giveaway for you to win these beautiful ombre earrings, “Ethereal Emma on Fire”. (Value $89)
1. FOLLOW: Follow us on instagram @islandfeversisters and @ashleychildsstudio
2. REGRAM: You must regram the photo above on your instagram page and tag us both
3. HASHTAG: AshleyChildsFever
*Giveaway open to the US only; must have a public IG profile to enter. Good luck! Winner announced March 28, 2014.