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An interview with Ashley

Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Silversmith // @ashhh_01

Photographer //

What inspired this collection?

I  recently had the opportunity to go to Amsterdam and explore the beautiful city. My last name is Steenbakkers, which is actually SUPER dutch. My grandfather was born in the Netherlands, making me a quarter dutch. The company I work for full time is also based in Amsterdam, which is the reason I was there in December. I absolutely loved the architecture, the old city square, and just the overall vibe in Amsterdam! There’s a lot of amazing history found there, and Amsterdam is known for it’s meandering canals and aged buildings. Lots of museums, tulips, windmills, and millions of bikes! (I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many bicylces in my whole life!) But, one of my favorite things about Amsterdam and Holland in general is all the beautiful “Delfs blauw”, or the blue and white ceramic pieces. I wanted each of these iconic aspects of the beautiful city to be portrayed in my collection, so I tried to utilize deep toned stones and emphasize the intricate details!

What is your favorite gem, and why?

I love sunstone!  It’s such a unique color, and so sparklyyy. Also, rainbow moonstone. It’s my recurring “go-to” stone.

What is your favorite part of the silversmithing process?

I’m honestly so intrigued by each step of the ring making process, but I especially love when the hot metal is quenched in the water jar, and it is immediately cool to the touch! It never ceases to amaze me. Also the little sizzle sound it makes is so satisfying, every single time.

Tell us about yourself! What do you do outside of Gem Studio?

I’m 23 and girly to the bone. I grew up in a small town in northern Wyoming, but have lived in Utah the last 5 years. I graduated from BYU in 2018 and landed a real “big girl job” for a company called Payvision, which does international payment processing and global acquiring. Some of my favorite things in this world are dancing, live music, boating, watching sunsets, and laughter. Someday I’m going to visit every continent, and have a passport full of stamps. I’m also a bachelor/bachelorette enthusiast, and borderline adrenaline junky.

What else are you passionate about?

I’m super passionate about people and new experiences. Traveling and human connection give me life! I have a degree in Human Development, and I’m convinced that every person has an amazing story to share, and there's so much we can learn from one another if we are willing to take the time to connect and engage with each other.

What is currently playing on your Spotify?

I’ve been on a Lauv kick lately, & of course Jbieb’s new album

What do you want to manifest in your life over the next year?

Authenticity, embracing serendipity, and lots of smiles!

What is your current motto?

If you are not obsessed with your life, change it. Purpose fuels passion.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

That is a great question. I truly have no idea where this crazy thing called life will take me in the next 5 years, but hopefully it’ll be somewhere where there's a lot of sun, a hunky husband, and maybe a cute little kiddo too, with a few more stamps in the passport.

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