We had the good fortune of connecting with Erik Buckley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erik, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
My pursuit of a creative career is fueled by a passion for artistic expression, a strong love for the different media in which I work, especially silver and turquoise, and a dedication to quality and constant improvement. This particular artistic endeavor allows me to draw inspiration from countless sources, whether that’s from the rocks pulled out of the ground or from the desert landscape above. Beyond that, being able to create something from scratch is a meditative and therapeutic process. Above all else, though, is the ability to share some of the beauty and the wonder that artists see in the world.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a silversmith and a lapidary artist— that is, I make jewelry and adornments out of silver, as well as cutting and polishing gemstones like turquoise. I pride myself on the quality of my craftsmanship and the quality of my designs, which often tend to be either desert-inspired or feature geometric themes. Lately, I’ve been especially fond of creating saguaro-themed jewelry. It’s been a rocky path to reach where I am today, and it’s still not exactly an easy path to continue down; but that’s sort of how it goes for many artists in our day, right? It’s a difficult track, whether it’s money, skills, or motivation, but we do it because we love it, not because it’s easy. For me, some of the toughest parts have been trying to navigate the many facets of self-promotion and social media, which I’m admittedly still not great at, but practice makes perfect!
The best lessons I have to share are to be patient with yourself while you dedicate yourself to improvement, and to be critical of your work, but not of your worth.
ENB Jewelry is about creating and sharing beauty, as well as a love and respect for nature and for our fellow humans.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A weeklong trip to Tucson would feel incomplete to me without a couple hiking trips, like into Sabino Canyon, up to Tanque Verde Falls, or on a jaunt through Saguaro National Park. Then an absolute must would be to head up to the top of Mount Lemmon for some fudge, delicious pizza, a giant cookie, and the southernmost ski lift in the US, not to mention tons of hiking trails in a lush ponderosa pine forest, before descending back into Tucson Valley, about an hour from the summit. Other essential stops include the Desert Museum, Presta Coffee Roasters for some caffeine, Seis Kitchen for a good bite, and Screamery for some primo ice cream. To top it all off, a mural tour around town to see the city’s beautiful public art would be exquisite.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve been so fortunate in that I’ve had an extensive, supportive network of family and friends going back to when I started over 12 years ago. My dad’s infectious love of the desert inspired me. My mom’s artistry drove me to create. My mentor, Shawna, encouraged and helped my development as a stickler for quality craftsmanship. And I can’t state the significance of all the love and support I’ve received from those above as well as the rest of my family— both of my brothers, both of my new sisters, and, of course, my lovely fiancée, Abby.