Category Archives: Studio


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!

Studio Monster

I have this giant Orchid Cactus in my studio that’s currently in full bloom. It’s overwhelmingly large and beautifully ominous,  I’m actually a little afraid to turn my back on it. What if it’s not a plant and all and is really an angry carnivorous octopus? At fourteen feet in length, that speculation isn’t too far off. I’ve appropriately named it the Audrey II, and plan on offering a sacrifice in order to satiate its hunger for eating lowly jewelers.islay taylor studio cactus MID

Commission In Progress

I’ve been working on an engagement ring for a couple that I absolutely adore. When I was approached about this project, the only guidelines that I was given was to do whatever I wanted and keep the cost low. What an amazing and intimidating opportunity! What I decided to do was to take all the gold scrap I had in the studio, alloy it into an ingot, and then roll it out to a thin ribbon. I’ve riveted the ribbon with a sterling silver tube, which will eventually have a diamond set in it. I’m officially over the intimidation, and am completely in love with this ring… here’s hoping that the couple likes it too!Isla Taylor Engagement Ring 2

Bits and pieces…

I’ve been quietly poking around in my studio trying to reconnect with some unfinished pieces… At the same time, I’ve been hunting for inspiration and trying to shake the cobwebs out of my brain. During a recent reorganization of the odds and ends that I keep lying around, this necklace emerged… I’ll be putting it together shortly and can’t wait to see what other pieces emerge as a result of this one.

In progress wood necklace