About The Twisterry LLC

THE ARTIST BEHIND THE BRAND

Terry Alers, and her husband at their son's wedding

My name is Terry Alers. I reside in northern Virginia with Perry, my husband of 27 years. We’ve spent most of our lives here in the greater Washington DC area. Together we raised two wonderful kids (now grown) who we completely adore!

People often get tickled about our rhyming names, “Terry & Perry”—but no, we did not name our kids Sherry or Jerry, (wink). Their actual names are an amusing tale for another time!

When I’m not making jewelry or running my company, I enjoy spending quality time with Perry and with my dearest friends; visiting local wineries, gardening, drawing, painting, and decorating. I would love more time with my kids, but they are busy with their own adult lives. That is the way of life, though, isn’t it?

So What Is My Story? 


For as long as I can recall, I've had a love of drawing and design. I sketched horses, kittens, plants, and people. I excelled at charcoal portraits. I studied and practiced drawing eyes, in particular, striving to achieve realism.

Pastel & Charcoal Portrait of my Children

I spent many afternoons drawing detailed patterns, furniture, floor plans, evening gowns, and even shoes while growing up. I could not stop drawing and designing!  I created clothing patterns, cut, and sewed several of my own designs. Throughout my young life, I was convinced that I would become a fashion designer “when I grew up.” Some of my creations were terrible flops, of course, but I was driven to create. A full length, fully lined, hooded velvet cape and even my own wedding gown were among my greatest sewing feats.  

One summer, my Gran encouraged me to tackle an advanced macramé work of monstrous proportions. I had dozens of super long ropes tied to a driftwood branch, trailing from one end of the house down the hall to the other end! I loved tying complex macramé patterns.

In a blink it seemed I was transported from my teenage dreams into the 9-5 working world, and then, also a wife and mom. It hardly registered that I'd set aside most of my artistic outlets during those perfectly happy years while I was fully immersed in a career and caring for the loves of my life. Later, when our children required less constant attention, some of my old interests began to creep into how I spent my free time. Naturally, it started with home improvement projects and interior room makeovers. A perfectly typical progression for many families, but through which I fell by chance into painting murals; something I had never imagined doing! One of my sisters—I’m blessed to have four—asked for my help painting a five-wall trompe l’oeil scenic island paradise in her master bedroom. I warned that I’d never before attempted such an endeavor but said, “Sure, why not? It sounds like fun!”

And just like that, I'd caught the painting bug. After that amazing experience, I found myself interested in starting a mural painting business. Together with my youngest sister, Vicki, we created the DBA “Way Out Walls” which she still operates under, (our mural work may be viewed on Facebook.) I’m very proud of our accomplishments. The murals are beautiful, but they represent major efforts that required weeks to complete. The work of attempting realism in mural painting is a true labor of love. (Or is it a "love of labor"? Ha!) I do occasionally paint for fun, but usually just for myself or my nearest and dearest.  

During those days when I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer, I had also imagined many jewelry pieces and often drew them as accessories for my clothing designs. It never occurred to me then that I would one day fabricate wearable jewelry!

First necklace designAround 2010 I was compelled to try my hand at a complex stringing design that had popped into my head. It presented a challenging mathematical puzzle but I was ultimately pleased with how it turned out. I gave it as a gift to an old friend (who remarked that it looked extremely similar to one of my drawn designs from way back).  

First Wire NecklaceI didn't think too much about jewelry making again until I picked up some craft jewelry wire to create handmade gifts.

That's when I fell in love! Working with wire is what hooked me for real. It utterly satisfies my creative need. Curling, curving, bending, twisting, wrapping, and hammering presents my brain with a new outlet for endless combinations and design possibilities! I spend countless hours, happily manipulating wires and teaching myself new techniques. I also discovered the irresistible draw of artisan glass beads (aka, lampwork) and quickly became a “lampie addict” always looking to acquire the most beautiful and unique works of glass bead art. I have amassed an impressive collection which inspire my creativity and, along the way, I also gained new friendships with many lovely artisans around the world.

Friends and family seemed eager to purchase my handcrafted jewelry and, by the end of that first year, I had created and sold a significant number of pieces. My "shop" quickly transformed from the dining room table into work space with an array of new hand tools and shelves stacked with materials. I realized that I wasn’t anywhere near finished exploring this creative path. 

I also realized it was time to open my business. But under what name?



ARTISAN JEWELRY WITH A TWIST

The Birth of My Brand

I founded The Twisterry LLC in 2014. Combining the verb “twist” and my name “Terry” seemed a perfectly simple, catchy brand idea. Pronounced ‘twis’tairy’ The Twisterry name encapsulates both my identity and—in a sense—what I do. One must only remember to spell ’twisterry' with the double R.

I’m very thankful to Perry for suggesting the name, and to my daughter-in-law for creating logo art for The Twisterry. Many of my relatives and friends have provided me with help and encouragement throughout this process, for which I am eternally grateful. The Twisterry could not have made it this far without such generosity, nor without the amazing support of my fans and customers. Thank you!

 

About My Products

I am inspired by ingenious designs and beautifully executed pieces made by many experienced jewelers, but I do not enjoy copying another’s work (or even my own for that matter). Following a “project” tutorial--which steps the pupil through instructions to make someone else’s lovely idea--does not satisfy my creative outlet. However I will seek tutorials that train a specific technique. There is no shame in following patterns, even I occasionally do, but I derive more satisfaction from imagining possibilities and solving puzzles.

Neither do I spend very much time worrying about trends and fads. Instead, I prefer to allow my own thoughts to determine my course. I seek out technical training and then work to incorporate new techniques in my own unique style. As I practice these skills, an endless stream of design ideas flows faster and more steadily to me. The more I create, the more ideas that crowd into my brain. I often forget ideas for designs that I don’t have time to explore, and so I have a growing collection of sketches that I hope to one day make. 

While ideas may flow to me quickly the production time is often lengthy. Because I rarely wish to forfeit my precious creation time, nearly every piece I make is both the original prototype and the final product. Prototypes naturally require more discovery and planning time and can sometimes result in failure on initial execution attempts. I find that I will come at one concept from multiple directions, multiple times until I succeed, but I rarely want to repeat the final achievement. I prefer to learn and move on to do something new!

I constantly strive to evolve in style and to improve my execution and quality—incorporating better materials, precious metals and gemstones or minerals. I'm in love with this craft and it will remain a passion of mine for a long, long time.

 

Business Facts

 The Twisterry is a Limited Liability Company, solely owned and operated in Manassas Virginia by me, Terry Alers. I specialize in custom made and one-of-a kind artisan jewelry & accessories. Interested clients may reach me by email at terry@thetwisterry.com, or by phone at 703-405-3293.

Each item I create is thoughtfully planned and executed with utmost care and attention to detail. Crafted using traditional methods with simple tools and skilled fingers; nothing here is mass produced. 

Polymer Clay and Copper cuff bracelet, ©The Twisterry LLCThe Twisterry product line showcases jewelry in a range of artisan techniques (besides assembly), including cold forging, wire weaving/wire wrapping, micro-macramé, bead-weaving, knotted strands, etc. I enjoy exploring new and unusual ways to use polymer clay in jewelry fashion and am particularly interested in achieving faux gemstone looks, such as a flash or sparkle, like what might be observed in moonstone, sunstone, or lapis lazuli. For now, I consider polymer clay experimental fun when I can find time to “play.” (Working with polymer clay adds several time-consuming steps in the jewelry making process—and requires a completely dust-free work area with its own kind of mess!) I also look forward working more with heat and learning more metal smithing skills which will open up even more design possibilities for me.

Many of The Twisterry's jewelry pieces include precious or semi-precious stones, glass beads, and other unique elements created by individual artisans, and I provide credit whenever applicable. The Twisterry has a growing collection of drilled gemstones and un-drilled cabochons and a large collection of "lampwork" beads, (i.e., molten glass shaped under a torch/flame), including some that reflect light and opulence almost as beautifully as a rare gem. When you purchase a beautiful one-of-a-kind glass or stone hand set into a unique design, you are virtually guaranteed no one else will ever own the exact same jewelry item!

Lampwork Heart Set in Silver Wire Wrapped Frame, ©The Twisterry LLC

Even as The Twisterry Collections showcase fewer costume pieces and more fine jewelry and grand statement pieces, I continue to provide a wide selection of unique items across all budgets.  Many of The Twisterry products are made with precious metals (including Sterling & Fine Silvers, Gold Fill, or Rose Gold Fill), as well as precious or semi-precious stones/minerals. Statement pieces generally involve extensive hours of labor in the execution of knotted fiber patterns or micro-woven wires. These pieces are very time-consuming to create therefore they appear less frequently in The Twisterry store.  Items made with pure copper—also a favorite among The Twisterry’s customers—will continue to be added.
Although considered a base metal, pure copper (non-coated) is soft, warm, and lends a beautiful "earthy" quality--and looks especially beautiful against blue or green colors. Some believe copper offers health benefits.  Stainless steel is another affordable, high-quality metal that The Twisterry will occasionally use, but it is much harder to manipulate.  The Twisterry attempts to avoid using any metals known to contain nickel (Ni) which is often the culprit in allergic reactions.
Because each piece is unique, much of what I create requires a significant amount of time imagining and planning designs with complicated or detailed steps. Add in the actual labor spent on fabrication and my time to completion is quite often more significant than what I end up charging for my finished pieces. Yet my love of the creative process and the value of my work is evident in my quality of workmanship and my acute attention to details.  I believe my pieces speak for themselves, but your desire to wear them is what ultimately determines my success.
I truly hope each purchased item is loved and treasured by its new owner; that these treasures should only become worn or tattered from being loved too much! I encourage my buyers to contact me if a beloved item ever does become worn, with hope that I might give it new life. Not always possible, perhaps, but always worth asking.
The Twisterry considers requests for commissioned work on a case-by-case basis, and will also accept simple jewelry repair requests, (depending on the repair; at present I do not solder). The Twisterry is available to discuss your needs and ideas! Please don't hesitate to inquire.  
The Twisterry LLC is a registered jeweler of the Argentium® Silver brand. Please refer to our FAQ page for more information about Argentium Silver.
The Twisterry LLC is also on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.