Gift shoppers shouldn’t hesitate to open Rock Paper Silver by appointment — there’s a good chance that owner Deirdre Olson Gentolizo is upstairs in her studio, hand stamping and casting custom silver jewelry.
She uses the lost-wax casting process, which involves crafting a wax model, heating it and allowing the wax to melt away.
“The process really hasn’t ever changed,” she said. “Beautiful pieces in museums are made essentially the same way.”
She first tried silversmithing at an introductory class in college.
“On the first day of class, I called my parents and said, ‘This is what I want to do,’” she said.
Her jewelry company has been in business for 26 years, primarily working through Internet sales and trade shows. She found a niche in customizable gifts, such as necklaces made from recycled glass, or wearable “blessing bars” engraved with words like “be still” and “joy.”
“I love doing things that are encouraging, or a way to say thank you,” she said.
The shop also showcases Minnesota artists like Credo Designs Ltd., TRISTAN Publishing, Design District and painter Sarah Holden.
The studio at 4816 Nicollet Ave. is open every Wednesday from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and every second Saturday of the month.
An event planned just in time for Mother’s Day is Saturday, May 12 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., featuring crafts and treats.