The Art of Silversmithing and Jewelry Design by Shawna Whiteside Erickson
Always fascinated by the art of metal engraving and jewelry design, Shawna started learning the craft of silversmithing in Southern Alberta. With a passion for western style and traditional bright cut engraving, she has spent many years refining her skills and is continually learning. She was lucky enough to study under master silversmith Mark Drain after receiving a scholarship from the Traditional Cowboy Artists of America association. Shawna strives to incorporate both western heritage and the tradition of engraved silver while mixing in the latest colors of stones and metals, to keeping up with the world of western fashion. Her pieces are most often designed to be worn with a wide array of outfits from casual to best western dressed.
Working with silver and other metals, it all starts in her studio. Sheets of precious metal are hand cut, hand soldered and wrought into shape. The lengthy and rewarding process that follows includes soldering, forming, hand engraving and polishing to a fine finish. The end result is one-of-a-kind jewelry, belt buckles, moneyclips and custom pieces all handcrafted with fine detail. Add a family brand, monogram, or other special custom element for special family occasions or gifts. Shawna is particular to use the finest stones in her work. they are hand picked from the best mines in the world.
Raised on a farm near Didsbury, Shawna still makes her home in the country, where she practices both her craft as a silversmith and raises quarter horses along with her husband. Living a western rural lifestyle has influenced Shawna’s work. She takes pride in creating distinctive family heirlooms and championship awards that will be treasured for years to come.
“Shawna has the instinct to create movement, beauty and flow where there is nothing. The word that would best describe her as an artist is passion.” – Calgary Stampede Western Showcase
“The necklace you made for my wife has been magically welded to her neck since I gave it to her… she won’t wear any other jewellery now!” – Mark Szabo, Customer
“I wear my bracelet you made me every day, and when I forget to put it on (which is almost never) I feel like part of me is missing. When I write, and I’m having troubles, I look at my bracelet and hold it in my hand, and it always helps me make the right artistic choice.” – Phyllis Ellis, Customer (Producer, Writer, Actress)
“I think people would be extra impressed if they you did all of this using only a Bedazzler. Blindfolded. Underwater.” – Anders Svensson, Friend
“I put on the horncap you made for my saddle a few weeks ago, and have had so many compliments on it I can’t believe it. It really puts the extra touch on this handmade piece of equipment, I am so proud to have a piece of your work!” – Dave Wall, Customer
“Thank god your silversmithing skills more than make up for your lack of photography skills.” – Morgan Whiteside, Sister-in-law
“I purchased one of Shawna’s pieces a few years ago. She has since become a friend who I highly respect as an artist and more importantly a wonderful person.” – Rita Kiss, Kiss Fine Art
“Shawna who?” – George Strait