Sue Rosengard

Started designing and making jewelry in 1986 in New York City after I received a B.A. in French from the University of Illinois, which included a year of study in Paris and Italy. My jewelry education, primarily self-taught, began with a 2-week intensive course in New York at the New School. I knew immediately I had found my calling" and continued with classes at various adult-ed venues. Shortly thereafter I returned to my hometown of Chicago and started making jewelry full-time.

My studio is located in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago which has been home to artists studios and lofts for over 35 years. The 1200 square foot space is located in a 95 year old building that over the years has housed a bar, a brush and beauty supply business, used tires and other illustrious establishments. The nine large windows afford us a beautiful and unobstructed view of downtown Chicago. I have three wonderful assistants that help with all aspects of the business. We also have 2 resident dogs that primarily lay around all day while trying to look intimidating.

I have always tried to create affordable, well-crafted and well-designed jewelry that appeals to all ages. The contemporary geometric shapes are designed to flatter the face or lapel of the wearer while being lightweight and easy to wear - and of course timeless. I suspect my inspiration partly comes from growing up in Chicago among the skyscrapers and Frank Lloyd Wright influences. The designers of the Modernist era have also been significant - jewelers Margaret de Patta and Paul Lobel, sculptor Alexander Calder along with Russell Wright. On the technical side, my line uses sterling, vermeil and a few plated components. The ear posts are sterling; ear wires and chains are sterling or gold-filled. I saw, cut, drill, stamp and do a lot of wire-forming by hand to achieve my designs. The wire work is done without the use of forms or jigs - just simple hand tools. My goal is to have my customers wear a piece of jewelry that complements their own style and personality.