Roger Wilbur trained to be a ceramicist and sculptor at the Unniversity of Minnesota and the University of Mankato where he earned a BFA. After graduating, he lived for one year with the Jicarilla Apache. The jeweler's craft has been his life's work ever since. Today he lives in a remote mountainousarea of Northern New Mexico, home of the Anasazi Indians and inspiration to Georgia O'Keeffe and countless other artists.
Wilbur's technique is channel inlay, a demanding and precise process, which is the main jewelryexpression of the Zuni Pueblo Indians. A channel or void is created in silver or gold which is subsequently filled with gem stones, bones or other materials. The first known channel inlayers were the Hohokam Indians in Arizona (1000 BC to 100 AD) who used pinon pine sap as an adherent. Today space age glue is used, but otherwise the technique remains unchanged. All gem stones used by Wilbur are natural, untreated, unglazed and each is chosen for its own finish, texture, quality and statement.
Wilburs' bracelets, rings, belt buckles and cufflinks are simple and elegant understated platforms that allow the stones to make their own statements. In this, his main inspiration is the Scandinavian design sensibility he grew up with in Minnesota.
Roger Wilbur's fine channel inlay is shown primarily in the Southwest. His work has been exhibited at the Chicago Art Institute, the Laura Kruger Gallery in New York City, "Harpo" in PAris, France and currently showing at Palace Jewelers in Santa Fe, New Mexico.