Question & Answer with Jewelry Artist Susie Acree Rogers – Show Me Gold and Silver – Jefferson City, MO

Post on :June 22nd, 2017 | Posted By: Kim Carr | Category: Posted in Newsletters

SUSIE ROGERS

Show Me Gold and Silver

Jefferson City, MO

WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? Moberly, Jeff City and Holts Summit from 4th Grade on.

WHAT DID YOU ENJOY AS A KID? Always loved Art & English, anything physical and being a cheerleader.

DID YOU CREATE ART WHEN YOU WERE A KID?  I took clay and made snakes as a kid,  and then put them on driftwood to make sculptures.

WHAT KINDS OF JOBS DID YOUR PARENTS HAVE, AND ARE THEY ARTISTIC?  Dad was a Superintendent at a penitentiary and mom retired from Family Services as a supervisor.  We always had art hanging in the house.  My mom went to William Woods in her 60s to study art.  She did watercolor, china painting and sculpture.  Dad is a one-piece Picasso artist.

IS ANYONE ELSE IN YOUR FAMILY CREATIVE?  My son, who just turned 15, likes to make survival bracelets.  I hope he will someday follow in my footsteps.

WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?  I have a degree from William Woods University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts where I studied dance and theater.  I spent a Broadway semester in New York City, attended Harvard for a summer dance semester in tap, modern, flamenco, ballet. My favorite is lyrical dance.

The downfall of studying dance and theater is that I didn't realize you would need to move to New York for a real paying job.  I did teach dance in Missouri and for awhile I did office jobs.  I always knew I wanted to do something artistic and wanted to stick around Missouri.

WHEN DID YOU START TO DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS AS A JEWELRY ARTIST?  I happened to walk into a shop to get a ring repaired.  When I started asking a lot of questions about who would do the repairs and where, the lady working there said she would do the repairs in shop.  After all my questions, she suggested I become an apprentice.  I learned there is a big difference between book smarts and hands-on learning.  Its one thing to know the melting point of your materials, its another to light up a torch and put your skills to the test.  Life is funny in how it has come full circle.  The lady I first apprenticed under now works for me doing appraisals and part time sales here in my shop which is located just down the hall from where I picked up my first torch in her family shop years ago.

WHEN DID ALL THIS BEGIN?  I have been repairing jewelry since 1995 as a bench jeweler.  I started working for the family that repaired my ring and was hired as an apprentice.  The Grandpa wanted to retire so he taught me everything I needed to know.  I went from fixing jewelry, to designing jewelry to creating my own designs.  I figured if I could fix it, I could make it.

In 2001, my mom and I got a commercial loan for $3,500.  We went to an estate sale in Columbia and purchased an antique watchmakers bench and converted it into a jewelers bench.  I started working in my basement doing repairs, designs and creating.  My older brother, Mike, was a gold buyer for Gold Buyers of America.  He kept saying we should open a business together.  Mike told me I wasn't getting any younger.  I finally took the leap and we opened Show Me Gold and Silver in 2012 in Holts Summit, MO.  We were at that location for a year and then moved to the Jefferson City Capitol Mall.  We have been here ever since.  Due to a large sporting store coming in, we moved locations last month in the mall.  We are now located in the Dillard's wing and invite you to visit our shop which is open Monday through Saturday 10-9 and Sundays 11-6.

HOW DID YOU START OUT?  We opened the shop with many pieces I had created.  I literally started with beads, old coins and silver flatware.  I used whatever material I had on hand to create jewelry.  As a result, I made many different styles of jewelry.  My friend and fellow juried BOMH artist, Danya Roselle, has been with me from the beginning.  We have known each other for over 20 years and have lots in common.  We do music on Mondays where we get together to play guitar and we enjoy making jewelry together.  You can find a nice selection of Danya's handcrafted work in the shop too.

WHAT CAN FOLKS EXPECT TO FIND IN YOUR SHOP?  Visitors to the shop can find my handmade jewelry and that of Danya's.  We also carry estate jewelry, close-out jewelry and Native American jewelry.  You'll find necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, gold, silver, pearl necklaces, colored gem stones and natural stones that customers can purchase for wire wrapping.  I do a lot of custom design jewelry.  Every day is different in the shop.  Maybe I am sizing up, sizing down, casting, making sales, buying pieces and doing repairs.  I never have to do the same thing two days in a row and I love that.

We also pay cash for gold and silver.  My brother is the real expert here.  Every piece we buy goes across his desk and mine.  When buying jewelry, we make sure every stone is tight and that it is in the best shape.  If not in the best shape, we will melt the piece down and I will make something new.

For my jewelry, I use coins and flatware, and I cast jewelry using the lost wax method.  I hand- forge and form jewelry using sterling silver and 14 carat gold utilizing various stones and gem stones to make wire-wrapped jewelry.  My favorites are pieces I create using silver and turquoise.

Repairing old or broken pieces of jewelry is also an art.  I love bringing new life to a piece.  I enjoy repairs; the challenge drives me. Mostly, I love how customers react when they get a repaired piece back; it is very rewarding.

One night when I was going to bed I got the idea to hang a guitar on the wall of the shop.  Now we have a couple guitars in the shop.  Music is neat because it brings people together.  The guitars on the wall also help draw people in.  If someone stops and can play, really play, we let them autograph the guitar.  One time Bobby Quigly of Stepping Wolf stopped in our shop and played.  We have the autographed guitar hanging on the wall behind our jewelry cases.

WHY DID YOU JOIN THE BEST OF MISSOURI HANDS?  I joined because of my friend, Danya Roselle.  She said it was a great organization for creative people.  I agree 100%.  It is a wonderful resource for artists with many great people.  People have walked past my shop in the mall and stopped when they see the Best of Missouri Hands Juried Banner.  The banner brings people in because they recognize it or it starts a conversation.  It's an eye catcher just like the guitars.

Don Kelley, another juried Best of Missouri Hands jewelry artist, and Danya have acted as mentors.  I first met Don at an Artsmart conference put on by the Best of Missouri Hands.  Don helped me prepare for art shows.  Since then I have done a few shows such as the Botanical Gardens show in 2010 and have done a few shows with Danya. Now I concentrate on selling my work through the shop.

ANY ADVICE FOR NEW ARTISTS? Do what you love; it is the most rewarding thing you can do.  Follow your heart and passion.  Keep getting better.  I will often make things, set it aside, then tear it apart.  A friend saw something on my bench and asked about it.  I was going to tear it apart, but my friend loved it.  Not necessarily everything you design will speak to you, but it will speak to somebody. I love trying to do different things, different techniques, creating new designs.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU ENJOY DOING ASIDE FROM YOUR JEWELRY? I love to ride horses, play guitar, bon fires, live music, spending time with good friends, and being on the water.

At home I have three dogs, a cat and enjoy spending time with my family when I'm not in my home studio casting, firing up the kiln or working the centrifuge. Basically, I eat, sleep and breath jewelry.

 

 

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