Iris Apfel: My Muse

Iris Apfel4Oh man, I am utterly smitten and inspired by Iris Apfel. Her snappy sense of humor, daring fashion sense, and dedication to being her authentic self make her a role model for fashionistas and makers alike.

I recently watched the documentary, IRIS, that delves into her life – it was a spectacular visual cacophony… She pairs bright patterns, sparkly gemstones, and tribal prints in her daily wardrobe. Iris is a prime example of how people can be walking pedestals for artwork; that we are all living artworks. Considering that what I’m currently working on uses low budget materials, I especially appreciate that she primarily collects costume jewelry.

Since watching the documentary, I’ve found myself wondering ‘What Would Iris Do?‘ when I’m stumped in my studio. If you’d like to learn more about Iris Apfel, you can watch her documentary here.

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An Interview with Providence Monthly

I recently sat down with Elyena de Giguel for a chat that was featured in the most recent issue of Providence Monthly Magazine.

Sometimes being a jeweler means that you’re leading a solitary practice, sequestered in your studio without much creative input our output. So, it was a great change of pace to be able to dust off my archive of work and look back into the evolution of what I’ve been working on for the past couple of years. Over the course of a bottle of wine, we talked about my studio practice, jewelry as an art form, my work at the Steel Yard, and more. Check out the full article here.

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Preview of Natural History Imagery

I’ve been spending a lot of time in my studio getting ready for my upcoming show, Natural History, at AS220 in November. It’s been a lot of fun working on a new body of work, and I also had the luck to work with a super talented photographer, Jayna Aronovitch, on the accompanying images. Jayna was amazing! She was able to read my mind and create the kind of rich, saturated, transcendental images that I was looking for. I cannot wait to see these images printed out to large format – the jewelry is going to be life size!

Enjoy this sneak peak, and I’ll see you at the opening on Saturday, November 1st from 5-7pm at the AS220 Project Space, 93 Matthewson Street, Providence, RI.Molly3WEB


I wanted to take a minute to share a detail of a necklace that I’m on the verge of finishing. It’s a shorter chain than what I’ve been previously creating, and is also a lot fuller. The color scheme gradates from front to back, combining handmade horse hair tassels with a variety of exotic feathers. This piece is part of a body of work that will be featured in an upcoming solo show, Natural History. I am so completely in love with this neckpiece, and can’t wait to take it for a test run!

Islay Taylor Natural History Detail

An Interview With Winter Moon

I was recently visited in my studio by Olivia from Winter Moon Blog for an Islay Taylor Winter Moon Interviewinterview. Olivia and I chatted about jewelry, design, and what I’ve been making as of late. Here are a couple of my favorite questions that Olivia asked me:

How does an idea become a piece of Jewelry?

“For me, it’s a process of day dreaming, sketching, building, messing up, remaking, finishing, and then putting it on! There isn’t a step-by-step route to transform an idea to a piece of artwork, I find that good ideas just sort of take root and grow into finished products all by themselves.”

tell us about your studio and what you’ve chosen to surround yourself with.

“It’s really important for a studio space to not only function well, but to also be a place that you want spend time in. Our studio is very functional and comfortable, and reflects what each of us is currently working on. There are a ton of tools, machines and materials, but there’s also a common space and lounge area. Frequently, we’ll gather together to share wine and food, talk about art, and then begin collaboratively making new pieces together. Our studio is very fertile!”

As always, Olivia was lovely and we have a really great conversation. It’s always interesting to hear about your interests and goals through another persons filter. To get inside my studio and my head, you can read the full interview here.

Winter Moon Islay TaylorPhoto taken by Olivia Mansion.

Studio Field Trip


This week, my studio-mates and I went on a field trip together to a local close out jewelry supply company, Wolf E Myrow. They carry everything from semi precious beads to plastic baubles to cameos to bone and ivory pieces to chain to finished jewelry to swarovski crystals to holographic Led Zeppelin stickers. Located in a dilapidating mill building in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood, Wolf E Myrow is unsuspecting from the exterior, but don’t be fooled…  Once you step inside, you’ll find a maze-like network of antechambers opening into cavernous rooms all jam packed with floor to ceiling shelves laden with boxes of jewelry making components. Every time I go to Wolf E Myrow, I’m newly amazed, newly overwhelmed, and newly inspired about how it’s going to influence my creative practice.Islay Taylor Wolf E Chain

There is a room the size of a basketball court for various styles of chain in copper, brass, and other non-precious metals. Islay Taylor Wolf EHere’s an example of the ‘organizational’ system. It’s like Hogwarts meets the Borrowers meets the theives’ den from Alibaba and the Forty Thieves.
Islay Taylor Wolf E HaulThe best part is that all your treasures come in a barf bag. Super classy!