A self-taught jeweler with a fine arts background, Rona Fisher earned a BFA in painting from the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) in 1980. Rona discovered crafts as a valid artistic medium while living in San Francisco in the early '80s. She then moved to Munich, Germany, where she discovered a love of goldsmithing, reached an artistic turning point, and began to make jewelry.
Rona returned to the United States in 1991 and immediately embarked upon the adventure of developing a viable jeweler's workshop of her own. "Making a living as a designer is a continuous process of tempering fantasy with reality," she says.
A juried member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen since 1993 and a member of the American Crafts Council, Rona has taught jewelry classes at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts and was the 1992 and 1997 recipient of the Manayunk Purchase Award for Excellence in Design. As well, Rona was the winner of the 2001 Niche Award in the category of Jewelry, Gold, and the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen's 2001 Best in Show Award in the category of Best Contemporary.
The Work: Fine, Handmade Jewelry
Rona's collection includes rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and earrings crafted in sterling silver and 14 karat gold combinations, and in all gold. Her all-gold selections include pieces in white gold, tri-color gold, and yellow-and-white combinations. Many pieces feature precious or semi-precious gemstones. Her pieces are made to be worn for a lifetime.
Rona specializes in custom work. Many of her custom designs have incorporated her customers' own stones and metal. Her River Pebbles designs in particular lend themselves to custom work.
"Using jewelry as an expressive medium is a balancing act between process and idea. Getting too tangled up in the technical aspects can stilt the flow of a piece, putting the visual emphasis on technique rather than on the beauty of a line or a sensitively placed sphere. For me, intuition is more important than technique. Technique is empty without inspiration."
Rona's background in painting and her five years' experience as a freelance jeweler in Munich helped her develop a strong understanding of design. This design sense, combined with the expertise she has developed over two decades of jewelry making, results in uniquely handcrafted pieces. "My goal," she says, "is always to let the original inspiration come through in the final piece so that the wearer shares in my vision."