[image-2] Last year we featured local artist Alison Brynn Ross, who brings whimsy to the art of taxidermy by making animal statues out of steel and copper wire. Now we’ve learned that Ross was recently nominated as one of the top 10 craft makers by USA Today. “I didn’t even know I was nominated until it was already live. It was a pleasant surprise,” she says.

That ninja nomination came to Ross courtesy of Erin Godbey of the Maker’s Collective in Greenville. While Ross still saves animals with her taxidermy alternative, she does enjoy branching out. Her commissions have been as varied as making a wire depiction of The Little Prince, from the children’s book of the same name, and replicating someone’s custom Harley motorcycle. “It’s always a conscious effort to challenge myself. The more I challenge myself and make pieces I like, the more it strikes a chord with people,” says Ross.

And she isn’t lying. Ross’ medium has become more complex in the last year as she’s begun to add color and shadow to the wire. That willingness to explore in the medium has paid off, as she is currently leading the top 10 on USA Today’s craft maker leaderboard. If you’d like to help her take the silver, and maybe gold, in the competition then head here to vote. You’ve got 12 days left.