AMS: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you arrived where you are today.
RF: As a child, I loved to draw, and although I didn’t care for school, I did enjoy art class. My mother taught high school art and when I was in fourth grade, my art teacher wrongly accused me of getting help at home on a collage assignment. I had created a portrait of three people, using light and dark pieces of magazine paper and newspaper to “draw” the figures and create light and shadow on their faces.
As I continued to pursue the artist’s life, an awareness of light and dark—and of negative space—continued to reveal itself in my work: first in figurative painting, later in abstract painting. This awareness also informs my jewelry designs.
I received a BFA in painting from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) in 1980. The art school experience was complex and valuable. It imbued me with an understanding of the importance of putting art first, deepened my ability to focus, and instilled a love of discovering new artistic vistas. Later, while living in San Francisco in the early 1980s, I discovered crafts as a valid artistic medium. I then moved to Munich, Germany, where I discovered a love of gold-smithing, reached an artistic turning point, and began to make jewelry. I knew then that I had found my calling—one that would always hold my interest and expose me to greater levels of learning.
I am primarily self-taught, and have developed a wide range of skills from wax carving to stone setting and from casting to CAD.
Another childhood love was spending time by a woodsy creek down the hill from my house. Water and movement are inspirations for many of my designs, and I enjoy the challenge of designing pieces that include both asymmetry and balance.
My background in painting and my five years’ experience as a freelance jeweler in Munich helped me to develop a strong understanding of design. This design sense, combined with the expertise I’ve acquired over two decades of jewelry making, results in uniquely handcrafted pieces. My goal is always to let the original inspiration come through in the final piece so that the wearer shares in my vision.
AMS: What type of customers tend to like your work?
RF: My customers are generally women in a broad age range—usually women who love the arts and who have always loved jewelry. Occasionally I will have a customer who gives me the wonderful compliment of saying that she *doesn’t* usually like jewelry, but that my work is an exception!
Meet Rona Fisher at the 2015 American Made Show in Washington DC!
Company Name: Rona Fisher Jewelry Design
Studio Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
Booth #: 1300