Ruthie Cohen, Jeweler

Ruthie Cohen, jeweler and metalsmith instructor in North Carolina creates timeless jewelry designs handcrafted in sterling silver, mixed metals, 14k or 18k gold.

Ruthie Cohen

My timeless jewelry designs in gold and silver are fabricated, constructed, or cast via the lost wax vacuum cast process. The jewelry designs are fabricated from sheet, wire, and tubing and then soldered together. Other more organic designs are first carved in wax and then casted in either sterling silver, 14 karat gold, or 18 karat gold.

My favorite challenge is to work with irregular shaped stones for bezel setting and have developed techniques to set drusy without breaking crystals. Very often, gold and silver are combined to create a unique multi-dimensional look.

“I have always had a life-long fascination with color and patterns in light. I remember as a child spending hours studying clouds, the flecks and veins of mica in granite, and water flow patterns in streams. My jewelry designs and stone colors are chosen with the idea in mind that light in its various levels of color and depth is released from the hidden shadows and dances through defiantly.

Artists’ designs evolve in different ways. Some craftspeople look at images for ideas; others will sketch out designs before they start creating. I like to sit by my pond and be entertained by the antics of the frogs, fish, dragonflies, and even the birds flying in for a drink of water. Living in the mountains of western North Carolina has given me the opportunity to periodically get lost in the ripples and folds of the topography of the region.

Cruising by car along the Blue Ridge Parkway, walking along rivers and streams or following the twists and turns of the “road less traveled by” always gives me an unexpected thrill of discovery as I view tumbling waterfalls, touch the bark on gnarled tree trunks, observe the vine growth on trees and bushes and admire the many rock formations that glisten in fog or pop when sunlight comes out. After these little trips, I very often just sit at my bench daydreaming into space. Certain images seem to resonate in my head and then show up magically in the jewelry that I create.”