About Ria

Ria Born in Wrangell, Alaska to Juanita and Marcus Larsen and my paternal Grandfather was Chief George Shakes VI. I am of the Eagle (Moiety) and Killer Whale clan of the Tlingit Tribe and also of Norwegian, Spanish and Scottish descent. My Tlingit given name is Duk aákch wúská; meaning "the man knows". When my mother passed her name on to me she told me it is a powerful shaman name.

Being surrounded by all kinds of art in the early years of my life really piqued my interest in Tlingit cultural arts. I really began to enjoy it more in high school through Indian Studies classes. I was involved in Tlingit song and dance with the Marks Trail Dancers, Gei Sun Dancers and The Eagle Raven Dancers while growing up in Juneau, Alaska.

I continued my education in the arts by apprenticing, for engraving, with Richard Beasley in the winter of 1998. Furthering my interest in my cultural arts, I attended Silver Engraving and Formline Design, taught by Steve Brown.

Eagle With encouragement from family and friends, I started my own business creating contemporary and traditional jewelry utilizing sterling silver and later after honing my experience I incorporated the use of 18k gold.  Some of my favorites pieces I entered into the All Alaska Native Juried Art Show , the Forget Me Not floral design, won an "Honorable Mention" award. I am very proud of that award because I was relatively new to the business and up against some stiff competition. Through exposure at the Juried Art Show sponsored by the Alaska Native Heritage Center of Anchorage, I was notified that the Peabody Essex Museum in Boston would like to display several of my pieces at the museum. They remained on display for approximately one year.

I love creating new designs of my own. Some of my ideas come from incorporating client requests into their custom designed jewelry. It is fun and challenging. No two pieces ever turn out identical as I create my designs directly onto the metal with pencil and then engrave.

I have returned to my home town of Wrangell and love living in beautiful picturesque South East Alaska.