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: Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material 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, founded in 2003 and named for the artist's great grandmother, 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; the treasured finds are then reconfigured and incorporated in unexpected, timeless designs, all crafted in the designer's home studio. One might find a strand of old paste pearls with an antique carved jade brooch as its pendant, or a 1930s Bakelite belt buckle clasping glittering chains from just a decade later. 

Intended to delight, inspire, encourage, and include, it is the hope that the Elva Fields credo "Made by hand and with love" is felt in every creation. 

above left, Emily with her great-grandmother Elva Fields Bivens Cooke

above right, Emily in her Kentucky studio

A fun video created a few years ago in our former hometown and studio space that tells a bit about our story--enjoy! (Watch by clicking here.)