Meet the Makers


Dave & Georgia Rowswell

Dave and Georgia Rowswell are a husband and wife team of artists living and creating in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Separately, they sculpt and use upcycled textiles for their art. Together, they create jewelry from an ancient material using contemporary tools.

In 2011, Dave began tinkering with rawhide. He had been making caning seats with rawhide and, in the process, continued to end up with small pieces of the material. Dave liked the translucency of these pieces and had the idea to make a pair of earrings for Georgia for an upcoming New Year's Eve party. Georgia weighed in on the varnish Dave used for the earrings, as well as the addition of silver leafing, and the first piece of rawhide jewelry the pair of artists had ever seen came to life. 

Rawhide's durability, lightness and translucent characteristics make it a uniquely suited, beautiful medium for jewelry. So, the Rowswells spent 2012 experimenting with different materials, designs and big ideas for creating a whole jewelry line.

After developing several designs and test marketing them (and receiving excellent reviews), the Rowswells formally launched Rawhide Studio in the spring of 2013. Their founding values continue to center around the integrity of the design, with the goal of crafting a line of handmade jewelry with both a contemporary edge and Western sensibility.

 

It’s interesting that beauty was something that came to the forefront of the jewelry's qualities, when I thought it was going to be more natural and rugged. It became more and more beautiful, and I didn’t anticipate that; the material showed that it has its own voice.

 

To Georgia and Dave, making jewelry isn't just about the end product - it's also about what happens next: each piece seems to remind its wearer of something, like the iridescence of a feather or the way a shell might gleam. This gives each piece a bit of character that's specific to the person wearing it; the jewelry adapts, making it wholly unique. 

Making art also takes Georgia and Dave places - you can find them at makers markets around Wyoming and along the Front Range - and this gives them the opportunity to meet new people, which they say is the real reward.