Interview with a Handmade Sterling Silver Jewelry Designer

Adrienne Warber
Wise Little Owl necklace
Wise Little Owl sterling silver necklace

Handmade sterling silver jewelry designer Elizabeth Rosas creates jewelry with a classic feel of femininity and romance. Her artistic expression is largely tied with her jewelry design as well as her love of photography and paper collages.

Introducing Jewelry Artist Elizabeth Rosas

Elizabeth Rosas's first interest in artistic expression began with photography. Her avid interest in creating handmade jewelry led her to study silversmithing in San Miguel de Allende Mexico with artist Billy King. Now based in San Francisco, CA, Elizabeth is a full-time jewelry artist and is also an artist in residence and teacher at the Roof Top School. She specializes in handcrafted fine sterling silver jewelry.

Handmade Sterling Silver Jewelry Designer Interview with Elizabeth Rosas

Creativity found Elizabeth Rosas, she embraced it, and made it into art.

Cavalcade of Glee ring Cavalcade of Glee Pom Pom ring

Creativity Fed by Photography and Jewelry

LoveToKnow (LTK): When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist? Was jewelry design your first artistic interest?

Elizabeth Rosas (Rosas): I'm not much of a planner, I never planned to be a creative type. Usually, I like an idea, then I go from there. One day I liked the idea of learning how to use a 35mm camera, so I began taking photography classes. It doesn't hurt that I have a natural curiosity. I'll always want to learn something new.

I realized that I wanted to make jewelry when a friend came to work wearing a ring she had made. It was a simple sterling silver band, and I was mesmerized. Within a year, I moved to Mexico to study silversmithing.

LTK: Does your photography inspire your jewelry designs?

Rosas: I think the actual piece of jewelry inspires each photograph. I have paper collages that I made specifically to photograph jewelry on. Sometimes it feels like I labor over the background for each design so much that I feel guilty for not spending that time creating new pieces.

LTK: What inspires your jewelry designs and creativity?

Rosas: Creativity is my fickle friend. I try not to push the front door open but rather I just sneak around the back and hope she will come out for a stroll, though she is inspired by rain and fog.

Black Lace Bloom necklace Black Lace Bloom fine silver necklace

Studying with Master Jeweler Billy King

LTK: What was it like studying silversmithing in San Miguel de Allende Mexico with Billy King? How does that influence your jewelry design?

Rosas: Before I took classes with Billy King, I was the kind of girl who didn't like to get dirt under her nails. He is the kind of teacher who quickly pushes you through all of your fears, including the fear of fire. Studying in San Miguel was a dream. There was creativity everywhere; artists from all over the world were sharing their art form.

Feminine Organic Jewelry with Texture

LTK: How would you describe the type of jewelry that you create?

Rosas: I love to make jewelry that seems French or feels lacy. It will always be about romance and feeling like a girl.

LTK: What types of materials and metals do you like to design with?

Rosas: Lately I've been using fine silver Precious Metal Clay (PMC). I love the end result which is a piece of jewelry that has a vintage relic feel.

LTK: What jewelry design techniques do you commonly use?

Rosas: I love texture. Most all of my designs are hammered for texture or rolled through my rolling mill. I can buy specific textures like wood or polka dots, or I can use crumpled paper or pieces of string to get a unique design printed out on the metal.

Full Bloom sterling silver ring Full Bloom sterling flower ring

LTK: Please describe your jewelry collections. How are they different and what do they have in common?

Rosas: Nature, simplicity, feminine, organic. I think each of my pieces of jewelry has two or three of these four descriptions in them. One can be feminine yet organic, et cetera.

Elizabeth's Favorite Jewelry and Activities

LTK: What is your favorite type of jewelry to make and why?

Rosas: I love to make rings. Usually, I see everything I want to make as a ring first but end up making it into a pendant, since rings are harder to sell.

LTK: What is your favorite piece of jewelry or most treasured handmade object?

Rosas: Right now, I am pretty addicted to my moon shell necklace. I love the way it feels on.

LTK: What do you like to do when you are not designing jewelry or taking photos?

Rosas: I love to collage. I have drawers of paper waiting for glue.

Elizabeth's Future Plans

LTK: What are your future plans?

Rosas: My short term plans are to put together a solid bridesmaid line, and my long term plans are to continue creating jewelry but explore other mediums, like fabric, paper and porcelain.

Discover Jewelry By Elizabeth Rosas

Read the latest news about Elizabeth Rosas and her jewelry at her blog, Elizabeth on a Mission and Facebook page, Elizabeth Rosas Jewelry. Her jewelry is currently on sale at her Etsy shop. In the near future, her jewelry will also be on sale at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco.

LoveToKnow thanks handmade sterling silver jewelry designer Elizabeth Rosas for sharing her jewelry and creative process in this insightful interview. We wish her a bright future and great success.

Interview with a Handmade Sterling Silver Jewelry Designer