“I’ve always been a tinkerer”, says Jackson, “As a kid I hung out in my dad’s workshop under the house working on little projects…. I find metal has a freedom about it that I really enjoy, it still amazes me what you can achieve with a sheet of metal and a hammer.”
Modesty aside, Jackson’s work demonstrates a refinement both in craftsmanship and aesthetic that would far surpasses that of mere ‘tinkering’ and suggests an intimate understanding of the medium and the object’s function.
Jackson started training in silver- and goldsmithing at after school classes during high school, a prelude to four and a half years of study at the Australian National University School of Art in Canberra. While there, Jackson completed a six month exchange to Idar-Oberstein, Germany studying Jewellery and Gemstone design with Theo Smeets.
Jackson lists Ilse Crawford, Maike Dahl, Simone ten Hompel and Yanagi Sōetsu amongst the artists she admires, drawing a common thread between the artisanal, highly elaborated crafting techniques used by them and her own work. She asserts that she is far more interested in utilitarian than decorative pieces, commenting that “I am interested in the way people interact with their objects. How an object shapes a space, influences an environment and becomes part of an experience.”
And, with her pieces set to be displayed at Design: Made: Trade later this month and a JUMP mentorship with German silversmith Maike Dahl (work hopefully to be exhibited both in Australia and Germany in early 2013.) Jackson seems to be attracting the attention she deserves.
See a video of Alison at work in her studio here.