BUSAN, South Korea – When you talk to jewelry designer Rosa Lee, she lights up when asked about the inspiration for her designs.
“For custom work, my inspiration mainly comes from my customers. What type of people they are, what kind of statement they are trying to make. If it’s a gift for a loved one, I try to express the feelings that the client has for that person.”
Nature also steps in as her muse for certain pieces.
“I take a lot from the natural world around me,” she said. “For example, I made wedding bands recently for a couple who were surfers. They were such a loving couple and both shared a deep passion for surfing and the ocean. I live near the beach, so I drew from the cresting waves to come up with a design that had the two waves cresting up to meet each other.”
Trained as a painter, Lee has exhibited paintings of still life, architecture and abstract art — all of which you can see in her jewelry. Butterflies, flowers, fish, oyster shells, scarabs and dozens of abstract designs all precisely crafted out of pure silver sometimes with precious and semi-precious stones. They cover the walls in her studio. Each piece is more interesting than the last. The textures and designs are so unique that they seem to beg to be touched, a request for which Rosa is happy to oblige.
“Jewelry is a tactile as well as a visual experience. I encourage my clients to touch and feel the pieces,” she said.
When asked why she works mainly in silver, Rosa spoke of the accessibility of the metal.
“I work with all different kinds of metals, but silver is more affordable to most people than say gold or platinum. I really want to share my art with everyone. Not just a once in a lifetime purchase, but making things affordable allows people to come back. I love hearing people say, ‘that is such a cool ring, bracelet, necklace, broach, etc. where did you get it?’ I guess I am my own best advertisement,” she explained.
If you would like to see more of Rosa’s work visit her webstite: www.rosasilver.com