Eric Joe comes from a family of silversmiths, yet it was only two years ago that he found himself following in their footsteps. The experience of a spiritual awakening ignited the artist inside him. As he puts it, “I woke up and realized the power within me was able to change my life.”
That realization set him on a path to creating not only pieces of beauty, but pieces that could bring the same kind of energy to those who purchased his work. It’s a path he’s honed since that day.
Joe found that once he began to learn the craft of silversmithing, it didn’t take him long to catch on to the needed skills. As he puts it, “I balanced my spiritual, mental and emotional body to create something beautiful.” It is this spiritual awakening that he credits for his fast learning.
He began beading at first, staying with that for about six months before asking his uncle to show him how to solder. From his uncle he learned how to shape the stones and to solder, giving him the skill set to begin creating his own pieces of handcrafted jewelry.
Joe says he creates those pieces spontaneously. Rather than drawing out a design, he says “everything’s in my head and I just create it.” Due to his desire to involve his customers in the experience of creating the piece, most of the work he does is custom work. For him, “jewelry is very personal.” He considers crafting a piece “energy work” and works to put his “heart and soul in each piece.”
As part of the artist co-op at Turquoise Skies, Joe is seeking to add to his ability to create the custom pieces his buyers want. In the past some things have been out of his reach, he says, due to obstacles such as a lack of equipment. Gradually he is changing that with the help of the co-op. He still cuts and shapes his own stones, often putting handpicked cedar from the Chuska Mountains under each stone for the energetic well being of the stone and wearer. He believes that all his work is energy based, offering the wearer the opportunity to be surrounded by what he calls “good vibes.” It’s part of that spiritual path, for he believes that “if we can quicken our vibration, we can live in love, joy, and happiness.”
Joe looks forward to expanding his work to include fine jewelry created with smaller stones such as diamonds. He’d also like to become involved in teaching and mentoring other artists. Most of his business now is from word of mouth or social media.
For a look at some of his pieces, you can check out his Instagram, @16ejdesign16