Roger Wilbur Studio

By appointment:
Santa Fe, NM
Works available at:
Artwares Contemporary Jewlery
Manitou Galleries




Jewelry by Roger Wilbur

Roger Wilbur trained to be a ceramist and sculptor at the University of Minnesota and at the University of Mankato, where he earned his BFA. After graduating he lived for two years with the Jicarilla Apaches where he became fascinated with alternative ways of viewing art and form. He was especially attracted by the jewelry worn by the Indians, which conveyed special purpose, color, form, preciousness and personal presence. That was 25 years ago and the jeweler's craft has been his life's work since.

Wilbur: Nevada Blue Gem Turquoise

Roger Wilbur, Nevada Blue Gem Turquoise

14K gold ring & sterling silver belt buckle


Today he lives with his family in a remote mountainous area of Northern New Mexico, home of the Anasazi Indians ("The Ancient Ones") and inspiration to Georgia O'Keeffe and countless other artists. He shows his work primarily in the Southwest: Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Scottsdale, and Tucson; however, his work also has been exhibited in Paris, France, New York and several studio art books. Wilbur currently shares his talents and ideas in workshops and presentations when not on his ranch or serving his galleries.

Wilbur's technique is channel inlay, a main jewelry expression of the Zuni Pueblo Indians. A channel or void is created and forged from silver or gold, which is subsequently filled with gem stones, fossils, diamonds or other materials. The first known channel inlayers where the Hohokam Indians of Arizona (1000BC to 1000AD) who used pinion pinesap as an adherent. Today modern glues are used but, otherwise, the technique remains unchanged. Gem stones used by Wilbur are from around the world, each chosen for its own finish, texture, color, quality and statement.

Wilbur: Bracelet

Roger Wilbur, Channel Inlay Bracelet
Sugelite, Tibetan Turquoise, Corals

Wilbur:Belt Buckle, Zebra Jasper/Sterling Silver

Roger Wilbur, Chinese Turquoise & Sterling Silver Belt Buckle

Channel inlay work is demanding and precise. Much of Wilbur's work is custom made for the wearer. Once a piece is completed it cannot be changed or altered without damage. Wilbur often uses the term "Cinderella's slipper" when referring to how the customer and the jewelry piece are united. Celebrity collectors include the late Elvis Presley, ZZ Top, Robert Redford, Carol Burnett, Randy Travis, Gene Hackman, Prince Felipe of Spain and more.

Visit the Calendar of Events Search Page for complete exhibit and performance information.

LAST MODIFIED: July 5, 2017

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