From top Left corner to Middle:Emily Wheat Maynard, Designer, with her great grandmother, Elva Fields (family photos fill the studio shelves); The ever-changing inspiration boards are a collage of color in the design space; Emily beside the desk that has been with the business since the beginning (even in its guest-room infancy!,) plucked from a local flea market; Tools of the trade: pliers, wire, clasps, pins, and beads
With degrees from Hollins University (Roanoke, Virginia) in both French and Art History, owner/designer Emily Wheat Maynard quickly discovered a passion for the history of jewelry in her graduate work at The Bard Graduate Center for Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture in New York City. Her Masters thesis explored the relationship between Italian Renaissance and ancient Greek and Roman jewelry, which inspired a semester at the Jewelry Arts Institute in Manhattan. Here, she acquired metalworking skills in the ancient tradition and, simultaneously, a recognition that it might be possible to combine interests in the study of jewelry and the creation of it.
Elva Fields Jewelry, started in 2003, is the result of this dual fascination, indulging both the academic and artistic facets within the designer. Emily scours local and far-flung markets, auctions, and shops for unusual vintage and antique pieces to use in all three of the Elva Fields lines—Elva, June, and Deb—which are named for the artist’s great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother, respectively. The treasured finds are then reconfigured and incorporated in unexpected, timeless designs. One might find a strand of old paste pearls with an antique carved ivory brooch as its pendant, or a 1930s Bakelite belt buckle clasping glittering chains from just a decade later. Elva Fields Jewelry, made in the designer’s studio in Kentucky, can be found in boutiques throughout the United States.
Elva Fields: Making a Difference: In the spirit of the women who inspired Elva Fields Jewelry and its namesake lines, the company has, for the past three years, donated a portion of every online purchase to Backpack Buddies of Spencer County, a program providing school-age children in the company’s local rural community of Taylorsville, Kentucky with healthy meals and snacks each weekend of the academic year.*
"As we move into this new year, we are excited to take on new challenges to improve the wonderful place in which we live and work, and we hope you'll stay tuned to hear more about how shopping with us will contribute to a happier, healthier community. Great things are in store here in Taylorsville!" —Emily Wheat Maynard, Designer
*For more information on the Backpack Buddies program, please visit their website.