"Ariana, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
When you're young, everyone asks you what you want to be when you grow up. I remember being asked this question often and my answer always was "A turtle!" Perhaps this was because my family had told me I could be whatever I wanted to be; I, of course, took that literally.
My first love has always been painting, right out of high school I knew I wanted to pursue it in college. It took seven years of part time and full time semesters, all the while working a day job and running AVR, but I did it!
I frequently got asked what I would do with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts and truthfully I never had an answer. I didn’t study art with a career in mind yet I found one along the way. I had a focus in oil painting which some may think doesn’t apply to silversmithing at all but it does. I have the knowledge of creating texture, using unexpected color choices together and creating a piece that keeps your eyes moving.
The summer of 2015 I stumbled upon the art of silversmithing, something I never even thought of as a possibility in life until I stumbled upon self-taught silversmith Instagram accounts at 2am. I found myself drooling over all of the incredible jewelry. Finally! Jewelry that spoke to my heart, because it had heart.
A few months later I began researching the craft and came to realize I already had some of the required skills. My father manufactures microphones by hand and had taught me how to solder when I was young. After some foundational research, I felt confident in my ability to pursue silversmithing. With a few startup donations from friends and family in return for my first creations, I took the plunge. I was able to purchase more than half of the tools I needed, and spent months failing and learning to be able to get where I am now.
Everyday I am still in disbelief that AVR has grown in such a short time. I have created a dream that I didn’t even know I had and you keep it alive. I promise to slice and dice my hands to adorn yours for as long as I can.