Maria Zurita, a talented silversmith and more . . .

English names from the left: Elizabeth, Anne, Tiniko, Nino, Pamela and Mar; copyright Keith Kenney, 2012.

Story by Susanna Schisler Melo

I was quite intrigued when I first saw one of Maria Zurita’s silver pendant creations worn by a friend of mine. I could not make out exactly what it was, but I thought the design was gorgeous. I later found out that Maria’s creation was my friend’s name written with the symbols of the Georgian alphabet, which is itself a piece of art!

Throughout the year, Maria and I have had many lively conversations at social gatherings with other Spanish-speaking women.  She is from Venezuela; she met her Georgian husband in New York City, and for the past 6 years or so, the couple and their two adorable and energetic sons have been living in Tbilisi.

Maria’s artistic nature led her to study architecture in Venezuela, but when she moved to NYC, she began working with gold. Soon afterwards, she started making silver jewelry and selling it on West Broadway with other artists. While she studied photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology, she also created her personal designs of silver and brass jewelry, selling it at the Young Designer’s Market on Bleacher Street with artists like herself.

When Maria Zurita arrived in Tbilisi, she continued her silversmith work, but the work was not as easy as in the United States, where you basically buy all the materials ready made (i.e. a thin sheet of silver) and then “put things together.” Here she buys silver pellets, melts them with copper using a propane torch to create sterling silver. She then puts the melted metals in a mold to create a thin sheet of silver.

Despite the difficulties of adapting to a new way of making her art, it was here in Tbilisi that Maria became inspired to create her own pendant designs using the Georgian alphabet symbols. The result is a genuine piece of jewelry that incorporates the flamboyant Georgian handwriting into a unique design showing an individual’s initials or name. A perfect Georgian gift!

Maria Zurita not only specializes in these silver pendants, but she also works with gold, glass, enamel and cloisonné.  You may want to contact her to see her spectacular pendants, earrings, bracelets, rings, etc. She is a talented artist who has a keen sense of color, shape, and design, and any woman would love to have one of her pieces!

Contact information:

Maria Zurita, Jewerly Designer

Mobile: 595-249-000



About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

6 Responses to Maria Zurita, a talented silversmith and more . . .

  1. Sandra Vazquez says:

    Great story Susanna! You know I love Maria as much as her beautiful jewelry.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful jewelry. We miss Maria and her amazing work here in NYC. Lots of Love. Great article.

  3. MNonon says:

    Beautiful, Classy Piece of Art. Me encantan hermanita. So talented. Te quiero by te extrano.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I have some of these beautiful designs and , They are genuine peaces of jewerly. tqqj

  5. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful, your are an artist María

  6. Anonymous says:

    Her style is unique. Should be part of the Amazing Jewelry Magazine.

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