Origins and Routes
Worn and weathered, these materials tell the story of my origins, the paths I have traveled, and the places I call home. Objects collected during childhood, inherited from family, and found while living abroad play a central role. The connections between them become apparent as they are grouped, rearranged, and remixed to become wearable compositions. The ensuing pieces speak to a hybrid identity, the result of forming ties to geographies and cultures that are not our “own” by birth or blood, yet shape us just the same.
The materials I use often have a complex history beyond my own heritage. There were hands that came before mine, the creators and carriers of these relics. Over centuries and across continents we are linked. I like to imagine the artisan who originally made a particular object, the merchant who took it to a new land, the multiple people who touched it over time before it became the fodder for my work.
I was born in New Mexico to an Italian-heritage mother and spent my childhood between Albuquerque and Peci, a small village nestled between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea where my family has maintained a homestead for hundreds of years. As a teenager I continued to travel, studying abroad in Brazil during high school and college. Eventually I made my way to Mozambique, Africa where I lived for nearly half a decade before coming to the Bay Area. I am now putting down roots in Point Richmond, a more grounded chapter after an extended period of wandering.
Ali creates art jewelry and objects that celebrate heritage, personal experience, and connection to place. She uses repurposed heirlooms, collectibles, and travel mementos as the inputs to her work, joining multiple elements to form a new, greater narrative. The resulting pieces are symbolic portraits that represent who we are, the paths we have traveled, and the memories we wish to preserve.
In addition to her heritage and found object work, Ali makes fine designer jewelry with gold, silver, and gemstones. She is interested in ‘asymmetry disguised as symmetry’, pattern, and color. Ali sees this work as a mixture of modular design, miniature engineering, and fashion.
In 2013, Ali opened a gallery and custom design studio in historic Point Richmond, California where she shows her own work and that of select guest artists. She enjoys the challenge of running a creative micro-business, and is actively involved in community organizing and mentorship of emerging artists.
Ali has a BFA in Jewelry/Metal Arts (California College of the Arts) and an MBA in Marketing (University of New Mexico), not done in that order. Before becoming a metalsmith, Ali worked as a consultant doing fundraising and strategic planning for small businesses and nonprofits. Originally from New Mexico, Ali lived in Brazil and Mozambique before moving to the Bay Area.
Where to Buy
Work is not available for sale through the SNAG website. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about making a purchase.