Susan Elnora is drawn to imagery that reflects a connection to spirit, awareness, curiosity, and playfulness. Her work explores the idea that, beyond the role of adornment, jewelry can act as a visual and tactile manifestation of memories, dreams, stories, and intentions. She believes that jewelry can become a powerful symbol of personal mythos, as well as a reminder to cultivate presence and openness.
All pieces are handmade by Susan from sterling silver and gold. Most shapes are sawed out, then refined with tiny files, and the pieces are folded, forged, and soldered together. She often textures and oxidizes her work to bring out its delicate details and sculptural dimensionality. A supporter of conscious sustainability, Susan uses recycled metals and responsibly sourced gems.
Susan was introduced to metalsmithing as an undergraduate in Studio Art at Carleton College in Minnesota. She attended Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco, after which she was employed for several years as a goldsmith for Stephen Vincent in Minneapolis. Now based in Richmond, Virginia, Susan lived for several years in New Mexico, a place that continues to inform and influence her work. Drawing inspiration from the unexpected beauty and sense of impending loss that can be encountered in the collision of the industrial and natural worlds, she often explores images of a fading American mythology. Susan’s work, which can stir unique individual associations, also tends to point to our essential connectedness and a certain shared experience of the world.