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Enflux – handcrafted jewelry

Every now and then we like to feature a fellow local artist. This time around, Ashley Reese, from Enflux was kind enough to answer a few of our questions. We love the clean lines of Ashley’s jewelry and we’re excited to  share a booth with her next month at the Noe Valley Harvest Festival.

Let’s get started!

How long have you lived in the Bay Area?

I have been living in San Francisco for 12 years now. I came out to visit a friend and loved it so much I moved here.

Ashley's workspace.

Ashley’s workspace.

How did you get started making jewelry?

I have always been interested in jewelry. My mother had a beautiful collection of pieces from her mother and grandmother, and my father’s love of geology always attracted him to the colored gemstones. I started making jewelry by taking a class at a bead shop on Valencia Street and after that, I was hooked. I continued taking classes in jewelry fabrication and metalsmithing at the Revere Academy in downtown San Francisco.

You use reclaimed metals in your jewelry. That’s awesome. What led to that decision? Where do you get the metal?

In a business where a lot is unknown about how metals and stones are mined, I think it’s important to do what we can to help minimize the negative impact we have on our environment. And luckily, many other jewelers agree. I buy my wire and sheet metal from a company called Hoover and Strong that does their own refining from scrap metals and sells back to the jewelry trade.

What are your go-to tools?

Mmmm... tools.

Mmmm… tools.

I haven’t met a jeweler who isn’t completely obsessed with tools, whether they do it as a hobby or are a professional. I have to admit I have this problem as well. The tools that almost never get put away on my bench are an assortment of pliers, my goldsmithing hammer, my saw, and my half round hand file. I do the majority of my work with these tools. One day I hope to acquire a rolling mill to texture and and customize the thickness of sheet metal.

Tell us a bit about your design process.

I come up with designs in many ways. Usually I draw out ideas first on paper and then when I start working with the metal it turns into another thing entirely. Other times I use a sharpie and draw directly onto the metal to get a feel for it as a finished piece. I’ve even been known to make sand drawings of an idea I have in my head.

New pieces. We love the bracelets!

New pieces. We love the bracelets!

Do you have any new designs in the works?

I’m working on a line of geometric pieces in brass. I’m liking the angular lines at the moment. We’ll see how it goes.

Do you sell your work in any local shops?

I sell at a shop in Hayes Valley called California Made Mercantile (formerly RAG SF) which sells home goods, art, jewelry and clothing made entirely by artists in California.

What’s your favorite local area/neighborhood to hang out in?

Besides the bar hi lo club on polk street for occasional happy hours, I hang out in the Mission area, mainly because most of my friends live there and it’s walking distance from my house. I’m always finding new shops and restaurants there.

Thanks Ashley!

To see more of Ashley’s awesome work, check out her online shop, Enflux, on Etsy.  If you want to see her (and us!) in person, come stop by the Noe Valley Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 26, 2013 from 10-5.

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