Mandy Allen

"In jewelry, as in life, balance is key - playful yet elegant, distinctive yet wearable, well-crafted yet affordable. I love creating colorful anodized aluminum and silver jewelry that helps you celebrate your day simply by wearing it.

I first studied metalsmithing at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, a magnet school where I was able to take several college-level art courses. There, I gained a strong understanding of design and technique. I went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree at Humboldt State University in Northern California. While there, I studied with David LaPlantz and learned that jewelry can be so much more than a monetary status symbol. David also introduced me to the process of anodizing aluminum, and when I realized that I could play with color and metal at the same time, I was hooked for good."

About the Process

"I craft my jewelry from anodized aluminum. Anodizing is a process in which an electrical current is run through a sheet of aluminum while it is submerged in an acid solution. This stimulates a chemical reaction that forms an oxide layer on the surface of the aluminum. This layer serves two functions. First, it makes the aluminum stronger and more abrasion-resistant. Secondly, it is composed of tiny pores which can absorb dye. I mix and combine the luminous dyes in a way that no one else does. Then I use those colors in designs that are elegant but joyful with the added benefit of being incredibly lightweight and comfortable to wear. I also use many sterling and fine silver elements such as the hand-woven wire work. I feel a piece is only successful when I achieve a balance between craftsmanship, composition, and artistic expression." 

Mandy Allen currently lives in Portland, Oregon producing jewelry and small sculpture. She is an active member of the Creative Metal Arts Guild (CMAG).