I met Elisa, the designer of Elyria Jewels, through my dear friend and former Todd Reed Jeweler. Immediately I was drawn to her jewelry and then after we met, we became friends. Elisa is hilarious and weird and awkward and so fun to hang out with, so I am glad to finally feature her here.
Elisa started making jewelry when she was a junior in high school. First she did beadwork and then started taking metals classes and working with metal as well as semi-precious stones. By her senior year she was selling through local stores and kept jewelry as a side business during college. She set her first diamond at the age of 25, but sees herself as a terrible metal smith so no longer does bench work.
The process: "Usually a design starts with laying out stones, then sketching. Sometimes I take photos of loose gems and work with them in Photoshop creating mash-ups with images of past pieces I've made, or images of stone-setting styles I want."
The inspiration: Elisa gets inspiration from all types of visual art. "I think after consuming a lot of visual information my designs come through as an assimilation of what moves me, but I don't think about it consciously, ever."
She also is very influenced by historical trends due to her degree in anthropology. "I like the stories of culture, history, and social movements that contextualize art."
Her favorite piece in her collection is also my favorite - the Tabitha earrings (below). These earrings feature a rough diamond and kite shaped moonstones. In person these are stunning - the moonstones are the prettiest share of blue when the light hits them.
Elisa has an amazing taste in jewelry, here are some of her favorite contemporary artists: Todd Pownell, Dickson Yewn, Judy Geib and Lina Fanourakis
When Elisa isn't designing she loves walking her dog along the foothills, going on road trips, photography and practicing Aikido (a Japanese martial art).
Current favorite songs: Crystalised by The xx and Cosmic Dancer by T. Rex.