Marco Rivera – Marco Rivera Jewelry
Tell us a little bit about what you’re making:
“Right now I’m at the cusp of starting my jewelry company, Marco Rivera Jewelry. I focus on jewelry where I do a combination of handcrafted and 3-dimensional design jewelry so I use CAD programs like Fusion 360 to print out pieces to cast them. I do a lot of casting. I started in the [CNM] jewelry program so I am finishing the program there; this is my last semester. After this year I’ll be a full jeweler with a certificate and everything. I was working at the jewelry studio as a work-study for like a year and that just gave me a lot more opportunity to focus on jewelry. I never thought I would be a jeweler or be interested in it but now it’s like music and jewelry are my passion.”
What brought you into FUSE?
“I’m a musician, first before everything so I found out there was someone making guitars at FUSE. That’s what really brought me in, gave me interest, and gave me the idea of FUSE. I saw it on CNM’s website that someone was making a guitar but I still have yet to make a guitar. Hopefully someday soon, a double neck. My ideals are go big or go home.”
What was the most valuable thing to you here?
“I think the most valuable thing for me personally is the opportunity to learn how to use all this equipment. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn how to cast, how to laser cut, to use a shopbot, or 3D print if I wasn’t at FUSE. If I didn’t have FUSE I would probably be focusing on music and not creating or making things. That’s one of my passions, making things, and I’m very self-sufficient. I like to make things, I like to build things but I’ve never had the opportunity to grow that skill. Just taking one class at FUSE allowed me to get that taste of it and it still is bringing me back for more. I hope I get to a point where I can get a business membership so I can be there all the time, I love this place.”
What advice would you give to someone who might be considering joining/might be considering FUSE?
“I always recommend people to take a CNM jewelry course because you get to spend time in FUSE for a long amount of time with also getting credit for a class. You get a membership, you get a taste of FUSE, and you get to be there for a whole semester rather than just a week or a month. So taking a CNM class that is focused at FUSE or taking a FUSE class that you’re really interested in or know stuff about. Like a woodshop class if you like furniture making so you know how to use the materials and when you’re a member you can start working right away because you’re cleared on the equipment.”
What were the biggest things you learned?
“I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart but one of the biggest lessons that are still bubbling in my mind, it hasn’t fully come to a realization yet, is the idea of just entrepreneurship and community. I know FUSE has a big thing with supporting entrepreneurs, a lot of businesses use their facility to create products. This guy Ben works with a medical company making medical mirrors and no one would know that they’re making it out of FUSE. KIN Collective comes in and makes out of FUSE. It’s a lot of people with the community coming in and building things and a lot of entrepreneurs coming in and building things. There’s always going to be that interaction between the two. So the biggest thing learned is leaning towards finding the balance between community engagement and being an entrepreneur. Not just being an entrepreneur only for the money or for supporting yourself but being able to interact with the people around you and help each other learn or make a product that’s helpful to other people.”
What were some complete failures/successes you ran into?
“I always had a fear of failing but with FUSE you can see on the walls failure is an option here is one of the big quotes. When I first started at FUSE I was taking a jewelry class that I didn’t really do well in at the beginning and then I started participating more like coming to studio hours. I just started to enjoy the space a lot because I found out about FUSE from guitar making and I wanted to do that. I started to fail a lot when I first started there and then I learned so much from what I failed from. I failed with 3D printed and I always learned from it so that’s the one big thing I learned was to not be afraid of failure at FUSE but not be content with that.”
“ At FUSE I learn things that I can use in the future. Juan taught me how to make a jig for my jewelry boxes so I can engrave stuff and in the future, I can do that on anything. I could even do that on metal pieces if I wanted to and I learned that just by doing it and it was not even a class, in an hour he taught me how to do this.”
What’s your favorite tool?
“My favorite tool is the J2R casting machine.”
How do you see yourself or your business growing?
“I’ve been really thinking about my growth in business these past two months. I am getting more serious about it. I can see myself growing a large jewelry business. I do want to be able to make a self-sufficient business that I can design for or hire employees in the future. Have retail space, have a workshop and not only use FUSE.”
What is your proudest moment as a maker?
“Right now I’m very proud that I’m going to be having my first solo show coming up. That is the first step in my business. I’m really proud to be taking a step in this direction.”
Anything else you’d like us to highlight?
“One thing I would like to recognize is that even though I’m a jeweler I am kind of a renaissance man. I’m a DJ part-time, a musician, I work with my mom at weddings she’s a harpist. I helped create her website. She’s been the biggest supporter of me and I love her. albuquerqueharpist.com.”