Allyson grew up in Halifax and attended NSCAD University, graduating with a BFA (Jewellery) in 1989. Upon graduation, she worked as a goldsmith in Ottawa, further honing her metalworking and design skills. In 1994 she was offered an opportunity to teach jewellery – making at Nunavut Arctic College and her adventurous spirit jumped at the chance. By 1997 it was time to start her own business, but before leaving Iqaluit Allyson created her second solo show – Arctic Landscapes: Jewellery and sculpture combining precious metals with stone from Canada’s Arctic.
Since then Allyson has participated in three Northern group projects including the Northwest Territory Mace and the Official Symbols of Nunavut Project, provided pieces for the Offices of the Prime Minister and Governor General of Canada and exhibited in numerous shows across Canada and the USA.
Allyson has traveled widely in Canada’s Arctic giving workshops, establishing jewellery studios, teaching and encouraging others to pursue a career in the arts. In 2000, Allyson moved back to Nova Scotia and began work on Seal Rock Studios. She is currently living with her family on Nova Scotia’s scenic south shore. Allyson continues to work as a professional artist, continuing to explore the theme of the Canadian and Arctic landscapes – sharing her experiences both North and South.
The reward is in the act of observing. Stone colours, textures, the shape of leaves, the ebb and flow of the sea, the changing seasons – all of these things continue to inspire my work. A gesture of thanks and appreciation.
At first it was a technical challenge – to really learn to see the natural world and to develop techniques to capture a sense of it in metal. But as time has passed I am now realizing another purpose: Connection. People connecting to place, places connecting to each other and our shared connection to the world around us.
One of my students said that to me almost 20 yeas ago. I am still thinking about it.
“The moon casts 3 shadows you know.”