Ashley Pollack

Hi, my name is Ashley. I was born in Montreal, Canada, and grew up on Long Island, NY. I am currently a graduate student at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) completing a one year Post-baccalaureate certificate in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. Prior to my arrival in Providence, RI, I completed my a BA in Art and Visual Culture (Studio) and English Literature at Bates College in Lewiston, ME. During that time, I took classes outside of Bates as well. This enabled me to expand upon my background in drawing and painting, and take graphic design courses at Parsons the New School for Design and NYU. However, it was a result of my decision to study abroad in Sydney, Australia, at the University of New South Wales, that turned my attention towards jewelry design and fabrication. I enrolled in an introductory jewelry class, a subject that had not been offered at any of the other institution I had attended. After the semester ended, I was sure jewelry and metalsmithing was a passion I had to pursue.

Jewelry has always played a significant role in my life. Throughout my childhood, my family traveled throughout the US and abroad. It became a ritual to purchase a ring from every new destination. The rings became objects that allowed me carry memories of adventures and great people with me in my everyday life. The stories that the jewelry I make will take on is as important to me as the story of its creation. It is almost fitting, that I fell in love with the practice of making jewelry during my semester abroad. There, my Professor, Bic Tieu taught me that jewelry speaks volumes. It has a long standing history as a form of communication, this is expressed both inwardly and outwardly. She also emphasized the problem-solving nature of designing jewelry which easily became one of my favorite aspects of the medium. I take great pleasure in the connection between the mind in planning and the hand craftsmanship that goes into the production. I want to be a maker of things with meaning and context.

Sometimes I take time to somethings that aren’t art. I was a three-season varsity athlete for 10 years. I ran cross country and indoor/outdoor track. I still run, but I prefer hiking now. I have had the opportunity to traveling considerably both inside and outside of the US, and both for pleasure and as a means of furthering my education. This past summer, I took a trip Iceland for 10 days and hiked around the “out of this world landscape” the country is known for. Afterward, I spent the rest of the summer studying in Florence, Italy, at Alchimia, in order to prepare myself for my entry in the academic world of jewelry.  While there I took every opportunity to go to museums, explore Tuscany, and eat great food. I divide what is left of my time between reading fantasy novels, and friends and family.

Click here to download my RESUME.