Ali Rouse brings a fresh new beauty to old materials. She combines luxurious precious, semiprecious stones, handmade Bali Sterling silver and glass seed beads on the skulls of noble animals to create an impressive, signature style of art.
Few artists are creating anything remotely like Ali’s work, with its fabulous combination of beautiful patterns and extraordinary bold presence. The animal form, often with large, gorgeous horns, serves as the frame housing the intricate details of her designs. Each animal offers unique opportunities and possibilities, which Ali interprets as angular and symmetrical, or abstracted, simulating movement in the geometric composition.
Taking anywhere from 15 to 80 hours to create, Ali links the elements of nature to create elaborate designs. Most of the animals she represents are emblematic of the region, such as the bison, bull, and ram. She also uses humanely-sourced rare African impala y, oryx and kudu because of their distinct shape and beautiful elegance.
A skilled artisan, Ali has received major national coverage for her fashion and design work. Her jewelry has been featured by In Style and Vogue Magazines, as well as on The Early Show. The skulls have been exhibited throughout the Southwest, as well as in New York, Dallas, Orlando and Colorado.
She began working with beads at the age of twelve in her home state of New York. At seventeen, she relocated to Boston, MA, to attend Newbury College and study interior design. This training inspired passion for color and the use of texture in her beadwork. She has also lived on the Caribbean island Barbados and a brief stay in Virginia.
At twenty-two, Ali headed west to Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is where she was inspired to begin beading skulls. She purchased her first skull at the Santa Fe flea market and began by trial and error. The first skull still hangs proudly in her home studio.