another feather

WEEK 70 - JANURARY 30, 2012

Hannah Ferrara is an Asheville-based maker and artist, creating under the name Another Feather. When designing our first imogene + willie necklace, we knew we wanted to work with someone who shared similar vision, inspirations and passions as i+w.

Hannah handcrafts each piece, paying close attention to detail and embracing natural imperfections along the way… something that makes our delicate harvested thorn necklace so special.

Inspired by the mountains, her travels, community, natural objects and vintage components, she uses traditional methods and techniques to craft each item, often using recycled metals from sustainable sources.

In fact, Hannah grew up surrounded by Cone Mills – the company that supplies most of our denim. She has memories of riding to the White Oak Mill in Greensboro, North Carolina in her grandfather’s old Jeep Grand Wagoneer, trunk overflowing with bolts of Cone Denim.

We sat down (albeit at a computer many miles away) to ask Hannah about her inspirations, design process, studio space and more:

How does living in Asheville, North Carolina influence your work?

Asheville is such a beautiful place. I’ve been living on and off in the Appalachian mountains for seven years now, and still never tire of these old hills. My work is very much influenced by the culture, and the folks here really put a great deal of importance on beautifully crafted objects.

Where do you find inspiration?

History and travel are my two main sources of inspiration. Whether that means traveling to the Himalayas, the Highlands of Scotland or to the forests surrounding our city, I find the most inspiration outside of my studio and away from my computer. History goes hand-in-hand with my traveling and, to me, there’s nothing more inspiring than an object containing stories from a past life.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your process and gorgeous studio space?

I handcraft each piece of jewelry that I make. Everything in my current collection begins as stock metal in the form of sheet, wire and rod. Using traditional hand tools (hand saw, files, hammers, torch), I turn these materials into wearable objects by sawing, hammering and soldering.

All of my metal, chain, and other components are milled domestically here in the USA and are often made from recycled metal. Natural objects are usually collected in the woods close by or from visits to the coast, but I’ve also been known to carry a few back home with me from trips abroad.

I share a studio space with my husband (Malcolm Smitley, Fleet Co. Goods), so there is a good mix of femininity and masculinity with me on one side making jewelry and him on the other crafting leather goods. We are able to bounce ideas off one another and give constructive criticism, which really helps my studio process. Since my studio is now located right in the center of the city, I have to fill it with all of the things which inspire me — meaning bits of nature, old photographs and objects collected on my travels are all present.

What’s your favorite thing about the i+w x Another Feather harvested thorn necklace? How do you wear it?

I love how versatile this necklace is. It’s refined and classy, yet intricate and interesting enough to get noticed. The simple gold rosary-style chain paired with the rustic element of the thorn is such a nice contrast. It lays around the neck just right.

During the day, I love pairing it with a t-shirt and, at night, with a dark silk blouse and a few brass bangles on my arm. It really looks good with everything!

What’s the story behind that beautiful feather wall and the name Another Feather?

Since I was a girl I have picked up any lost feather I see. While spending time on the coast, I’d gather the feathers of seagulls and herons, in the flatlands and farmlands I’d stuff bluebird & pheasant feathers in my pockets, and now in the mountains, I find plenty of grouse & wild turkey feathers. Needless to say the name Another Feather made sense, embodying my love for collecting and the natural world.

Now I get mail from friends and folks all over who send envelopes stuffed full of found feathers or from the birds they keep. I love that each one is from somewhere different and carries memories of that place or moment. I add to the studio wall all the time.


About the photographer: Tim Robison is a photographer and illustrator living in Asheville, North Carolina. He loves to take photos, draw and cook and is happy to travel and work anywhere.

His work can be seen at