Isabel Jewelry : Isabel Rucker
I have a deep love for the natural world and my artwork is directly connected and inspired by this. I have been reshaping my jewelry business and making a collection that primarily uses regional stones with a minimal use of metal. After 25 years of metalsmithing I had a desire to shake up my materials and experience a creative renewal. I source rocks regionally from miners or find them myself and have taught myself lapidary (stone cutting) skills so that I can cut and polish these stones. Like the food world’s locavore trends and indie clothing designers’ slow fashion, it is a similar awareness of consuming what is around me or considering its origin that I am bringing to my jewelry materials.
From 2010-2016 I owned a retail store and gallery where I was able to connect with my customers on a very personal basis and I saw the happy effects of art and jewelry in their lives. They have helped guide my creative path through their interest in purchasing artist-made jewelry, meaningful gems, and knowing the interesting stories.
The main stones I am now cutting are from Wyoming and the surrounding states. I currently live in the mountains of Wyoming and have been carving the state’s well-known nephrite jade. It is found in a clear green color and patterned with inclusions of other minerals. I like to purchase jade with these wild patterned characteristics. And I have found quartz, quartzite, petrified wood, agate, and chalcedony while hiking.
Occasionally I purchase beads and stones far beyond my region simply because they’re pretty but I really like to know the landscape of origin because this usually tells human, environmental, and geological histories. I realized I was missing stories by not knowing a gem’s provenance and I aim to answer some of those questions that arise with my jewelry materials as I move forward and focus more on this new work.
I also paint and sculpt and have been working to relate all of my disciplines into one large conversing body of work, please visit: 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 no longer repair jewelry that I have not made.
Isabel Jewelry Store & Gallery: I owned a bricks and mortar store from 2010-2016. While I loved having the experience it became too time consuming to continue. An especially fun aspect of that project were the gallery walls where I showed over 30 contemporary Wyoming artists, they are awesome people, web links here: Pinedale Art Gallery.
My Artist Portfolio Website: www.isabelrucker.com