Words and photos by Olivia Bauso
Though she never set out to be a “creative,” Canandaigua area native Alyssa Priddy's life has transformed into a multi-faceted world for creativity.
After graduating with a Sociology degree and working in the nonprofit sector for years, she began to explore her creative side along with her husband and a close friend. Instead of picking up a paintbrush, Alyssa turned directly to metalworking as an outlet. She explains, “They really encouraged me to explore my creative side, and I always felt like I had something more to give.”
Alyssa began with the simplest thing she could think of at the time: jewelry. “And it kind of kept going from there,” she adds. She began on a small scale with necklaces, bracelets and other wearable and has since explored more intricate pieces. Since selling her first items about 4 years ago as A.B. Microsmithing, Alyssa has left her full-time job to focus on her creative side and family. (She and her husband just welcomed a little one into the world this Summer!) Alyssa and her husband also build furniture and have put their metalsmithing to work for larger pieces; something Alyssa hopes to do a lot more of in the future.
She explains, “It was never jewelry for the sake of jewelry. This business has always been a result of me enjoying the metalworking aspect of it. Jewelry was just the outcome of it.” Alyssa adds that she grew up as a tomboy and has always leaned towards anything a little rough around the edges. What she really wants is to get more into the heavy metals, like iron. She says, “That’s something that seems like a predominantly male role, but I want to dig into bigger scale metal where there aren’t as many females. I just like that aspect.”
“I love merging together rough and refined,” she adds. And she shows that in her work. Though delicate and dainty, much of Alyssa’s jewelry can be described as recycled and rustic. She combines a rough, artistic approach with a more refined and minimalist approach to create beautiful pieces for anyone.
This style also shows through in Alyssa’s home, which highlights the best of its farmhouse bones and adds in a modern minimalist feel. She and her husband recently purchased the house and barn out in Churchville after living in St. Louis. She explains, “We wanted to come back and be in a city that we really loved, and a city that we want to see thrive. There’s just something about Rochester that you just can’t get out of your system.”
Much of Alyssa’s artistic energy has been spent remodeling her home this year in true Joanna Gaines fashion. “We’d never even heard of Fixer Upper until we started redoing our house,” Alyssa admits. Now, she and her husband are huge fans. (And sport a ceramic Magnolia pitcher on their kitchen island!)
Moving forward, Alyssa hopes to take her creativity into the home decor business, expanding the furniture work she and her husband enjoy so much. They even have dreams -- that may not be so far off -- of using their barn as a furniture workshop for the public. They’d do the majority of building and you’d bring the wine and help with the finishing touches. Whatever is next for Alyssa and A.B. Microsmithing, you can be sure she will do it with creativity, power and love.
Join Alyssa and other passionate creatives on Saturday, November 10 from 11am- 4pm during this month's Brainery Bazaar!