October 2, 2023


Satisfying Shop

Kierston Aiello at her metalsmithing bench

Artist Q&A: Ornery Metalsmith Kierston Aiello | Jewelry

Metalsmith Kierston Aiello identified jewellery producing as a university university student and has not looked again. Kierston is the driving drive behind TierraCast pewter jewellery element designs and she is also steadily creating her possess line of one-of-a-sort jewellery, Ornery Steel Studio. She provides intense specialized information and inventive techniques to the jewelry studio so makers can create fashionable jewelry with inspiring factors. We asked artist and merchandise improvement professional Jill Mackay to interview Kierston for this jeweler profile.

Above picture: Kierston Aiello at the workbench. All images courtesy of the artist.

Manufactured with Adore

Q. When did your desire in jewelry generating get started? What first led you into jewelry making?

I have generally savored crafty hobbies. As a kid I made friendship bracelets and hair-wraps and potholders galore! My mother was an artist, and she had a small facet jewellery small business known as “Wired Hangers” in my childhood. She taught me how to do straightforward jewelry assemblies. My father owned a modest Woodwind and Brass instrument maintenance store, so he enlisted us young children to assist with minimal repairs. That gave us publicity to a lot of hand applications like stakes and hammers, and a basic familiarity with soldering and polishing.

Q. Where by did you understand to make jewelry?

I researched Jewelry/Tiny Metals at Humboldt State College (now Cal Poly Humboldt) beneath the amazing Kris Patzlaff. I was majoring in Art Record and intended to go into museum do the job. To get my degree, I had to consider studio classes. I begrudgingly signed up for Jewellery to stay away from taking Painting. As soon as I used a jeweler’s noticed, it was a done deal. I fell in enjoy promptly and mainly lived in the Jewellery Lab. I ongoing my education and learning independently just after graduation, taught myself graphic design and style and took state-of-the-art jewelry courses when I could.


woodlands collection designed by kierston aiello for tierracast
The Woodlands selection for TierraCast. Kierston enjoys the issues of creating for output.

Performing Artist

Q. How lengthy has jewellery creating and design and style been your principal gig? How did you make the bounce to entire time?

Following I graduated from HSU, I went to do the job entire-time at Holly Yashi Jewellery in Arcata, California. I started out in the present retailer and then talked myself into a Generation Artisan situation the place I ongoing discovering and driving every person outrageous with questions. When I moved to Sonoma County, I took a tour with a friend of her dad’s enterprise, TierraCast! I commenced doing work in Client Provider and worked my way up from there. Jewelry Producing and Design has officially been my entire-time position for about 7 years.

handmade belt buckle made in memory of kierston's brother
Joshua tree belt buckle for Kierston’s tiny brother, the dreamer.

Jewelry Generating Inspiration

Q. What fills your inspiration reservoir, and why?

On the times I sometimes function from home, I luxuriate on my couch with all my pets and infinite espresso and draw uninterrupted for several hours. My particular studio is a limited, wonderful wander from my residence so I also function there anytime I can! I also like to take artistic “field trips” to museums or just stroll all-around San Francisco. If that does not perform, I pour myself into a personalized jewelry venture this sort of as a present for a close friend or one thing for myself.

Q. What is your most loved piece of jewellery you have at any time produced and why?

A hollow kind silver ring in memory of my father. It has a carved magnolia on major made of Tagua Nut and opens to a locket with images of my father. It has some of his cigar trapped inside of so it smells like him forever.   


kierston aiello selling her ornery metal jewelry at a local market
Kierston offering handmade jewelry at her community Sonoma County industry.

Lifelong Understanding

Q. What is the single most significant jewelry earning talent you have uncovered and why?

Humor! Jewelry can be such a fickle matter. From time to time you operate for several hours and then damage a thing, and from time to time you just whip anything up and it is a elegance! Inevitably you are likely to have bad times at the bench. If you can understand to go with the circulation and have a giggle, it would make it a whole lot less painful.

Q. Title two jewelry designers you admire from any period.

I really like the impeccable handcraft get the job done of Southwestern artist Cory Lenherr. And, of program, I admire René Lalique, who was a renowned Art Nouveau jeweler in Paris. If I can decide on a single a lot more artist, I also adore the enameled vessels made by Harlan Butt.


statement rings made by kierston aiello for ornery metalsmith
Statement rings by Kierston Aiello for Ornery Metalsmith. Kierston says, “Understated is overrated.”

Ornery Metalsmith

Kierston is an Interweave Top 20 Honoree of 2022 in the rising artist classification. In addition to staying a sassy metalsmith, Kierston is a happy puppy mother, roller derby maven, and pinup enthusiast. She suggests if this metalsmithing point doesn’t perform out, she daydreams about remaining a librarian at the Los Angeles Central Library.

Observe @ornerymetalstudio on Instagram for a love tale about a lady and her torch.

Did any of Kierston’s solutions resonate with you? Allow us know in the responses!