Though we began our journey as friends half a lifetime ago, it was in 2009 that we became business cohorts.
Over the years, we have embraced, supported, hustled and prodded one another as we have slowly realized our common vision: a home for our own designs supported by a range of other equally passionate independent designers, with a strong local focus.
Though jewelry making began as a youthful love, it grew into a focused and compulsory artistic channel for designer Sofie Albertsen. At the age of 14 when she went to study with a master jeweler in her native Denmark, she quickly became attached to the tradition of high quality craftsmanship. She continued her study of a broad range of art through travel, collaboration and extensive independent work. Influenced by that study, her mentors, and respect for tradition, Sofie continues to create masterfully crafted and artistic jewelry in the desert city she now inhabits: Tucson, Arizona. She is a co-owner of the lifestyle boutique, MAST.
Sofie's designs are steeped in nature, folk art, ancient techniques and traditional Scandinavian style. Her contemporary collections — Bird Out of Cage, Nomad, Gypsy and Feather Arrows — show her devotion to the beauty of primitive design and love of old.
The sophisticated collections —Raw & Refined, Heirloom & Wedding and New Antiques — are outstanding in aesthetics and quality, reflecting the emotional relationship of love and family.
Sofie creates timeless jewelry that results in powerful wearable works of art. The diversity of her collection reflects a master always creating and, in the process, produces timeless pieces of jewelry for all moments in life.
Photo by Rob Howard
Being from Wyoming, I have an affinity for the big sky and the rugged elements that surround it. Tucson holds many of these properties. I aspire to create pieces that reflect this mix of refined and rugged distinctions, cause that's how I am.
I have always been attracted to people, places or things of strong character. Who isn't? The essence of attraction and respect. Be functional, but stand out. I try to employ this in my designs.
All my designs are handmade by me in Tucson where I live with my awesome family and co-own MAST, a bad-ass boutique.
Photo by Purple Nickel
Tasha — a Tucson native — feels right at home in the desert heat. “ I thrive in the summer: with the longer days, I find it’s a great opportunity to hunker down and get wildly creative.” As a child, bouncing between young, divorced parents and two sets of very stable grandparents gave her the opportunity to experience many different landscapes and interests. “ I would spend all summer with one set of grandparents in Houston, being spoiled by an incredibly creative grandmother, who could literally see a dress in a department store and go home and replicate it. She taught me about the virtues of quality and luxury. In contrast, I would spent a great deal of the school year with my other grandparents on a working cattle ranch/bookshop just east of Tucson in Benson, where I could while away my days repairing fence-line on horseback with my grandfather or helping my grandmother in her bookshop.” Here, Tasha first discovered her love of architecture and design.
Tasha’s mother was a jeweler; once she showed an interest, her mother quickly included her in daily work and taught her the basics. She was hooked. Tasha began by making gifts for friends and family, moved on to take silver smithing classes and slowly built a recognizable style and small following for her craft. She was working a full time job in a music store (and playing in bands) when she made the decision to quit her day job & commit to being a jeweler.
Tasha relies on her instincts when it comes to new designs. She finds inspiration in the things that move her the most: music, architecture, plant life, the ocean and the beautiful desert that surrounds us. She is also incredibly inspired by African textiles and the animal world. Tasha has an amazing, adult daughter, who gets first views of all new designs, and offers her very fresh and honest feedback. She loves finding a balance in her designs with a delicate element, such as a dainty, detailed vintage cameo suspended by a slightly sinister serpent. Tasha is particularly happy creating custom pieces for customers.
Photo by Jay Thorne