“Ever since I was a little girl I loved jewelry. Growing up with my grandma, Dolores, and mother, Monica, I was always staring at their jewelry,” she recalls. “My ears weren't pierced but my grandma had a dish of earrings and I would hold them up to my ears and pretend.”
She says joining the Bench Jewelry program at CNM was a “leap of faith.” She always appreciated small, detailed work in any art form, and even as a child wondered how her grandmother's jewelry was made. When she speaks of
making jewelry as an adult, her face lights up with joy.
“I remember in my Jewelry I class, I cut into a piece of copper,” says Olivia. “It was hard work and I looked at everyone around me doing the same thing and smiled. That was the moment I knew I was meant to be a maker.”
When she was 11, Olivia's mother gifted her with a ring that features a small turtle with a piece of turquoise on its shell. It has stayed with her all these years because it was the first ring she ever had that fit her petite fingers. Ranging from -1, 2, and 5 ring sizes, she says making rings is her favorite type of project because she has the chance to make rings to fit her and others with uncommon ring sizes.
Olivia's dream is to combine her two passions, video games and jewelry. “Jewelry is a big conversation and we can do so much with it,” she says. Video game themed jewelry would expand the jewelry conversation in unexpected ways that she is excited to create one day.
“I love that jewelry is more than sparkles. They're stories,” says Olivia. “Many are passed down, and when I make a piece of jewelry that story starts with me. Or, when I repair a piece of jewelry, the story continues with me.”