Today we’d like to introduce you to Rocky Pardo.
Hi Rocky, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My love for jewelry came at an early age and has been a burning passion since my first forays in her mother’s jewelry box. My mother used to take me to a local jewelry shop, James Durbin Jeweler’s when I was younger. I remember walking in, seeing Roger Rimel’s one of a kind pieces, and declaring that THAT was what I wanted to do when I grew up. I started working with metals in 2006 at the Craft Alliance and instantly fell in love with the material. I obtained my BFA in Metalsmithing in 2014 at SIUE under the tutelage of Paulette Myers and upon graduation landed a job at the very jewelry store that started it all. I worked an under Roger Rimel where I honed my fine metal and jewelry skills before taking the leap to start my own business.
I grew up in St. Louis, but I am from Spain and spent half of my childhood there. This instilled in me a love for adventure, always moving forward, and forging my own path. My designs are an homage to my split roots in both St. Louis and Madrid. I find inspiration in the harmonic opposites in the materials themselves, the world around me, and my experiences of a life split between two countries. The sky was what always brought them together in the journey from one home to another and it is to the sun, moon, and stars that I look to influence my work. In my designs, I strive to strike a balance between the rough and refined to create effortlessly elegant pieces that are comfortable and easy to wear. Contrasting texture, oxidized finishes in a completed polished piece is a repeating duality in my work.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
While the road may not have always been smooth, I do think that I have been incredibly fortunate. I have an amazing support system that has always made obstacles seem insignificant. My clients are loyal and emphatically encouraging which keeps me going through thick and thin. I’ve also focused on a very slow, intentional growth of my business. This has provided me with a lot of stability but with much quieter transitions into business milestones. I’m currently building a brand new studio that is probably the biggest and most challenging step my business has taken to date. I’m struggling every day with the inability to work to the capacity that I was before. Then I’ll get a message from a client who is so excited about the progress and can’t wait for me to continue their custom piece and it makes the struggle worthwhile. All of my supporters have been by my side the entire time, eagerly awaiting me to be able to get back to work and to come visit me.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I create mixed metal fine art jewelry with an emphasis on silver, gold, and the creation of my own precious metal alloys. I’m best known for my use of contrast with silver and gold dust. The majority of my work boasts gold and silver pieces where the silver is oxidized black to make the rich bright yellows of the gold pop. I started to use these techniques out of a desire to eliminate the need for refinement services of my metal scraps and waste. I try to live as sustainably as possible in my day to day life, why not extend that to my work as well? I’m proud of my ability to use up nearly every ounce of precious metal that comes into my studio and that not only means the new metal that I bring in. I often have clients bringing me their own collections of old gold that I can transform into something new. I love it when I can help a client turn something of great sentimental value that they don’t wear, whether it’s well worn or not their style, into something that is a new work of contemporary fine jewelry.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I can’t wait to have the new studio finished so that I can welcome people into the new space. I hope to have a small gallery area, a consultation area, and space for private make your own wedding band classes. My hope is to create the feel of a brick and mortar gallery space with the comfort of a private, by appointment studio.
- Work Price Range: $25+
- Custom Pieces: $300+
- Private Classes: $500+
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.rockypardo.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rockypardo/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rockypardojewelry