Isabel Jewelry : Isabel Rucker
I am a silversmith, lapidary, painter, and sculptor on the Mendocino coast of California. My husband, dog, and I have been exploring the beaches and cliffs of our new home; we recently moved here from Wyoming and this ocean wilderness is newly inspiring. We love nature!
My jewelry is directly connected to the natural world and a few years ago I began cutting and polishing regional stones to be closer connected to the lands that I love. (You will see these listed as “handcut stones” on this website.) I like thinking about the sources of materials and gathering them myself, like abalone shell or agate. I also source regional stones that other people have found, like the gorgeous multi-colored nephrite jade from Wyoming.
I have been metalsmithing for over 25 years and made thousands of pieces of jewelry. My silverwork includes a lot of hammered texturing (category “hammered jewelry”) because I love the mixture of glitter and hand-wrought look; I use various hammers and my anvil for this effect. I sometimes carve wax models out of special jeweler’s wax to make curvy sculptural pieces that I have cast into metal. And I love to experiment at my jewelry bench so you will sometimes see stand-alone collections appear on this website.
I don’t cut every stone I use, I also purchase beads and stones far beyond my region simply because they’re pretty and also to provide some lower priced choices on my website. But I still like to know a gem’s landscape of origin because that usually tells human, environmental, and geological histories so when I know a stone’s source you will see that on the information on the item listing.
I have been studying gemology for a few years and am approaching earning my Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America. With this I am able to understand gemstones and their origins and also identify them more expertly. This knowledge also helps me cut and polish the rough stones I gather or purchase.
From 2010-2016 I owned a retail store and art gallery in Wyoming (Isabel Jewelry & Gallery) where I was able to personally connect with my customers. Talking to customers on a daily basis helped guide my creative path to understand what people like and appreciate. On those gallery walls I exhibited over 30 contemporary Wyoming artists of all media.
I also paint and sculpt and have been working to relate all of my disciplines, my artist website: www.isabelrucker.com.
About the recycled metals: Whenever possible I use recycled precious metals that I purchase from a mill that specializes in this. I can also melt down and reuse unwanted jewelry.
Custom Work and Repairs: I am currently taking a break on custom orders while I focus on designing new jewelry. I will repair any jewelry that I have made, it is guaranteed for life. I do not repair jewelry that I have not made.
Social Networking: I am on Instagram (@isabeljewelry), Facebook (Isabel Jewelry), Pinterest (isabeljewelry). There you can see photos of my workshop, artwork in progress, my outdoor life, and read event or sale announcements.
My Artist Portfolio Website: www.isabelrucker.com
Pictured above, quartzite and jade sliced or in the rough form and then polished and made into jewelry.