Local jewelry designer Ellen Rockower has come a long way from her summer-camp jewelry-class days. The recent RIT grad, who got her degree in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing, spent the past year working on her own jewelry line — and judging by the bright and funky designs now taking up shelf space in NoLibs’ Arcadia Boutique and other area shops, her work has certainly paid off.
Inspired by the architecture of Philly’s old, full-of-character buildings (she loves checking out interesting details everywhere from Fishtown to Center City), her current line features graphic, geometric earrings and necklaces made out of colorful enamel and metal wires. And to make sure her pieces stand out, Rockower mixes usual metalsmithing methods with creative techniques like Japanese-inspired Mokume-gane (a type of mixed-metal laminate) and hammer forging.
If you want to learn a little metalsmithing yourself, Rockower teaches an all-levels photo-etching-on-metal class at the Main Line Art Center in March (you’ll come away with your very own creation from one class!). For those of you not into DIY, E Rock Designs are available at Arcadia Boutique and Cedar Hollow Design Center, or you can contact her through her website, erockdesigns.com, to place an order. Necklaces start at $40 and earrings at $25.