Featured Member

Each month a new Featured Member is chosen from the completed member profiles on our website. Their interview and work is highlighted on our blog and social media. Visit our archive of past Featured Members.

December 2022

  • Alison Antelman
  • Alison Antelman
  • Alison Antelman
  • Alison Antelman New Studio
  • Alison Antelman
  • Alison Antelman


Alison Antelman

Website: antelman.com
Instagram: aantelman

1. Tell us a little about yourself.I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 30 years, arriving in San Francisco in 1990 with first, last and security for an apartment and no job- you could do that back then. I had a job waiting tables which took care of my rent and bills giving me plenty of time to explore the area and figure out what to do with my life.  I started making jewelry with driftwood I found on the beach and African sand beads from Mendel’s art supply on Haight Street. A friend that I worked with recommended I take the Metal Arts class at City College in San Francisco. I was lucky to have incredible metals instructors and spent five years learning before starting my own business. My husband and I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico 18 months ago starting a new chapter in our lives. The bay area was a very good place for me and I maintain my MAG membership as it’s been an incredible resource throughout my career.

2. What is your favorite tool and why?

I love the torch, it could be any torch- soldering is a favorite process; I understand what the metal, solder and flux tell me when I heat it up, it’s a symbiotic relationship.

3. Which materials do you create with most and what is your attraction to using them?

I love moving (non-ferrous) metal, it’s malleable and durable, plus if you mess up you can melt it down and roll it out again…the ultimate reusable material. I mostly use good ‘ol sterling silver and 18k gold, these materials have stood the test of time.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My work is inspired by the canyons and peaks of cityscapes, geologic rock formations, observations of both human-made and natural structures that reveal layers of history and time. My jewelry is fabricated and forged by hand, like the structures that are its inspiration, viewed as silhouettes on the horizon.

5. How long have you been working in metals and what brought you into this field?

27+ years.
I arrived in San Francisco from the east Coast, feeling burned out by a career I had not yet begun. My degree is in Mass Communication/TV & Film from Emerson College in Boston. I took my first jewelry class at City College in San Francisco with Roger Baird, several semesters later I thought, hmmm…

6. What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in metals?

Invest your time in a thorough base of knowledge and skills. Don’t sell your work too early, it’s easy to get caught up in the selling and missing out on developing your own ‘voice.’

7. What has been the biggest challenge for you as a metal artist and have you overcome it, or how are you working to overcome it?

Figuring out how to make a living, it’s best to have a variety of income threads. You’re always needing to rebalance. At the beginning of each new year when I’m doing my books, I assess my entire situation; what’s working, what is on the back burner that needs to move up in importance, how can I improve sales. It important to keep up with technological changes, like social media. I’ve only just started making ‘reels’ and they seem to get so many more views than still images. No matter what, I create what I love. I see how people (positively) react to my work and I know they’d feel it if I was just cranking out “stuff.” People react emotionally to jewelry, when they put it on, it comes alive!

8. Favorite resource/vendor or website

I have a good collection of “hard copy” books, it’s fun to have a library day (I’m reminding myself I don’t do it often enough).  I also find hiking (in nature) to be very resourceful as the context shift and the activity along with stunning surroundings gets my mind going creatively. 

There are a few online newsletters I like to read because their point of views expand my realm: Klimt02.net, Hyperallergic.com