Every jewelry artist draws lots of inspiration from many things, and this particular creator wants each person who wears her designs to feel unique, inspired, and confident. Meet the creator behind Rusty Creek Designs - Liz Gould also known as @rustycreekdesigns on Instagram. She has been silversmithing for almost a year and a half as of writing.
Liz, ever since she was a little girl, has always loved rocks. Her parents had to make up the name “leave-right-rocks” – they would be bad luck if you picked them up - just so Liz would not take home every rock she finds! When she was younger, her grandpa brought her back a rough piece of turquoise from a mine. Liz told us she was so excited to get it in her rock tumbler.
It took weeks for that turquoise piece to get done, but once it was, she told us she was in complete awe. She shared with us that during her high school graduation, her parents surprised her and had it made into a custom necklace. Liz tells us that it is still her most treasured piece of turquoise and jewelry.
Liz fondly recalls how she started creating jewelry. Surprisingly, she has never really mentioned- or even thought of- silversmithing or making jewelry. One day, she was scrolling through Instagram and saw some artists pop up. Intrigued, she went to YouTube to see if there were any “How To” videos. After she found what she needed, she looked at her husband and said, “I am going to be a silversmith. So, I need you to build me a bench and I am ordering tools.” She told us her husband gazed over at her with a bewildered look on his face and said, “What did you just say?! You have literally NEVER talked about this before!!” Liz told her husband she would love it and the rest is history!
Whew! Talk about a eureka moment, right?!
Most artists encounter challenges with their creation, and for Liz, the most challenging part is bringing her customer’s vision to life. She thinks this is the hardest because she has a different creative taste than her customers do, so she has to go outside her comfort zone at times to ensure she makes a piece her customers love.
Recalling how she started, Liz said she opened Rusty Creek Designs with her mom in mind. She started teaching herself silversmithing in January 2019 and she didn’t tell anyone she was doing it. Liz said just in case she wasn’t good at it, no one would have to know! For Mother’s Day, she made her mom her very first completed piece with turquoise. Liz recalls it having so many flaws – “I used the wrong solder, didn’t know how to form right, and more, but my mom absolutely loved it! And still wears it to this day. Out of everything that I have made, this is one of a few pieces that I will always love most.” Truly, pieces that are made with love are the most treasured ones!
Liz’s business is named and based around her parents’ land in the Wyoming Mountains. She told us she absolutely loves being there – everything from the tiny creek to the trees and flowers… all of it inspires her. “Mother Nature truly is remarkable, and I want to enhance that beauty, so when someone wears my piece of jewelry, they will feel BOLD and BEAUTIFUL.” Yes to statement pieces!
There are a couple of reasons why Liz decided to work with turquoise. Her mom is the main reason behind it. Liz wanted to create jewelry for her mom so she could make her something for every holiday. She told us when she started working with turquoise, she had no idea there were different mines, colors, matrixes, and she fell in love with it! She prefers turquoise because of the array of colors it comes in. While there are some other stones that she uses, such as Ocean Jasper, Rainbow Moonstone, and Labradorite – she says they are all basically the same color - but not Turquoise! It will range from orange and brown all the way up to robin egg blue!
Check out some of her beautiful creations!
Liz’s number one tip she wants to share with fellow creators is to not compare yourself to any other creator! She admitted that this is still something she’s working on. “Each one of our business and work is unique, so there is no sense in trying to mirror your business to someone else’s,” she continued. Ultimately, Liz says customers will buy from you because of your values, inspiration, and the genuine person behind the brand.
What do you like most about working with Turquoise Moose?
“In my beginning days, I had bought a few of “turquoise” stones off of Etsy, only to find out they were not real. I stumbled across Turquoise Moose and after checking out their page and highlights, I knew that they were a genuine, high-quality turquoise company!
I asked a TON of questions when I started ordering. Li and Erika were amazing and answered every single one! The stones that they send are not only high-quality, but they are so vibrant and colorful! They don’t use a filter on the pictures, so you know the exact color the stone is. There are some other vendors I have worked with in the past that do use filters, so they don’t quite match what you are getting. Their customer service is one of a kind! If I ever have any issues, they address it and fix it immediately. They are literally the best!!”
- Liz Gould