This is a preview of the full article - Full access is exclusive to subscribers. To read the full article please subscribe to our print or digital version of Ornament Magazine. Subscribe now!

FAUX REAL BROOCH WITH GEMSTONE BUTTON of hand-pierced brass, powder coat, pigment print, plastic, steel, 7.62 centimeters wide, 2009. Photographs by Joshua Dudley Greer.

Ashley Buchanan

jewelry arts



Ashley Buchanan is obsessed with images of jewelry. One especially engaging outlet for her fixation is her Diamond a Day series—part performance, part photography, part installation. Every day Buchanan takes a moment to document either an image of a diamond that she sees (a neon advertising sign for example) or one that she creates using found materials such as blades of grass, broken toothpicks and barbeque sauce. Of the ones she makes, some exist only until the wind blows them away, others (such as a diamond of white pebbles arranged on a mound of darker rocks) may remain for future passersby to enjoy, and many are noticed only by the observant busboy. She relishes the temporary nature of this work and its irreverent counterpoint to the idea that “diamonds are forever.”

The daughter of a woodworker and granddaughter of a commercial interior designer, Buchanan knew before attending the University of Georgia that she wanted to be an artist. She initially focused on sculpture, but during a summer study abroad program in Cortona, Italy, UGA professor Mary Hallam Pearse (see Ornament, Vol 34, No.1) noticed the small scale of her work, and invited her into the jewelry studio. For Buchanan it was a natural fit. In 2011, just two years after receiving her B.F.A. (and after waiting tables, bartending, and working as Pearse’s studio assistant), she became a full-time jeweler. Now she has a small home studio in Johnson City, Tennessee, near the Smokey Mountains, and sells through numerous art jewelry galleries, online Indiecraft shops, and fashion boutiques. She also participates in markets ranging from Crafty Bastards in Washington, D.C. to the American Craft Council’s show in Atlanta.



This article in its entirety appears only in the print magazine.

Keep rich and engaging content in your life, click here to subscribe today.


Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains


Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show


  Follow Ornament on...