Latest creations by Elisa Browsh come to Karats in Vail Village, Feb. 10-12
If you go …
What: Jewelry designer Elisa Browsh.
When: Friday, Feb. 10, to Sunday, Feb. 12; gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Where: Karats Vail, 122 E. Meadow Drive, Vail Village.
Cost: Admission is free; jewelry available for purchase.
More information: Visit www.karatsvail.com.
VAIL — Jewelry artist Elisa Browsh is bringing her latest creations to Karats of Vail in Vail Village for a three-day trunk show, starting today.
“A necklace I am showcasing at Karats has a beautiful red stone, the perfect Valentine’s Day piece,” Browsh said of her Syrah Necklace, a 21.04-carat, fine rubellite stone set in 18-karat yellow gold on a black rhodium-plated, sterling silver chain. “It’s like the human heart. Impulses of the human heart are both elemental and refined.”
Browsh began designing jewelry in high school having no idea it would become her lifelong passion until after she came to the Centennial State to study anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her grandfather was an anthropology professor, she said, and the veritable museum of artifacts he brought home from his trips to far-flung places all over the world inspired her to travel, as well.
“Through anthropology in college, I discovered I could study other cultures,” she said. “It was what I really wanted to do, and it was tied into that family tradition of travel and exploring.”
Soon, Browsh was traveling the world herself, including Asia, where she fell in love with Tibetan turquoise. She soon went into business importing it from Nepal. Later, taking advantage of an opportunity to attend a pearl auction in French Polynesia — “It was just happenstance,” she said — her passion expanded to pearls, which was the focus of her work for several years.
“I’ve always thought my background in anthropology helps me in appreciating other cultures, having a mind to try to understand them as an outsider trying to operate in another world,” she said. “I don’t know if it affects my designs, per se, but I’ve spent a lot of years doing business in other countries.”
Through her Boulder-based design business, Elyria Jewels, Browsh has since broadened her horizons to include precious gems and one-of-a-kind stones — as represented in many of the pieces she’ll be showcasing at Karats, such as her Cleo Earrings, with rose-cut diamonds and fine, blue moonstone set in 18-karat yellow gold and oxidized sterling silver.
“To me, the hallmark of my line is a combination of elements, some very rough and some very fine,” Browsh said. “I like to juxtapose raw stones with a clean design or have a really raw element in a piece with another, fine, traditional element. That’s a defining part of my line — it’s got an industrial edge, but with a really fine stone, or perhaps a rough diamond set in a traditional micro-pave setting.”
It’s all part of what makes Browsh a master at designing and creating fine jewelry in a style known as “industrial chic,” a term she’s adopted to describe her Elyria Jewels collections.
“I like to use blackened metal and links that may look like part of an industrial chain,” she said. “The mechanisms may be less ‘fine’ than a traditional fine jeweler, but some of the lines mimic the simplicity and utility of the industrial world.”
Make something beautiful
Two examples of the style from the Elyria collection include the Ring Stack of 18-karat yellow gold and oxidized sterling silver with raw and natural-color diamonds and white sapphires, and the Cyprus Ring, a brilliant setting of quartz and turquoise in oxidized sterling silver, with fine white diamonds.
“It’s a way to take the industrial world and make something beautiful out of it,” Browsh said. “This trend to bring in industrial elements and create an artistic work, that’s what ‘industrial chic’ is referring to.”