Desert Mama- Who is Francis and where can we find you? Tell us about yourself:

Francis Frank- Hello there… I’m Francis Frank, born in East LA currently livin’ out in the Yucca Valley, CA and I am a Silversmith

DM- How long have you been designing jewelry and when did the love for this art come about?

F- I started creating jewelry back in 2006 while working at a local coffee shop and as a actress.

I’ve always loved working with my hands and being creative. When the recession hit I lost my job, and acting wasn’t something I wasn’t too passionate about so I decided to take my love for jewelry and accessories more seriously.

DM- Who taught you how to do this?

F- I took a 2 year metal fabrication course at Pasadena City College and instantly felling love with metalwork, I’ve had some prior experience but I knew wanted to be as educated in my craft as much as I possibly could, so I just ran with it.

DM- What inspires you, and what other artist currently working do you admire?

F- I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings, living near Joshua Tree has so much beauty I’m forever inspired. Also pulling from old worlds, 1970s fashion, vannin’ and country music.

I’m super fortunate be surrounded by so many talented makers up here, especially my husband Thomas C Bonilla of TCB Leather Co. He’s an amazing artist in his own right and we just vibe and create together so well. Love him!

DM- If you had to choose, which gemstone is your favorite?

F- I love love Turquoise, but lately I’ve been really into man made material from the 60/70s called Rosarita, it’s a glass material fro m the gold refineries off the coast of California and Alaska.

DM- Show us your best work by now and tell us why you love it:

F- I love love working with Rosarita, it give me such a throwback feel.

DM- The part you love the most of what you do, and the worst part:

F- The part I love most is just the endless possibilities when it comes to creating jewelry.

Worst would be when I’m too hard on myself, or trying to be a protectionist in a handmade world.

DM- Where and how would you like to see yourself 10 years from now?

F- In 10 years, I see myself diving deepening into my craft, expanding my education in fine jewelry, and opening a brick and mortar with my husband.

DM- Which is your best memory of when you were a child:

F- Oh man, to be honest I didn’t have a great childhood… But I did have really good friends that I would get to hang out with every day after school and I’m happy to say we’re all still very close.

DM- Your best quality and your worst defect:

F- I guess I would say my best quality is being able to see the good in everyone and in every bad situation. Makin’ lemonade outta lemons.

My worst, is probably being too hard on myself, pushing myself over the limits cause I’m terrified of failure.

DM- What makes you angry:

F- When people are mean to animals.

DM- What do you do for fun?

F- Everything, I’m down for it all.

My husband and I love taking our dirt bikes out and going for rides, bowling every Tuesday, cruising on our boards, antiquing, playing fetch with our cutest dogs Baxter and Sioux Sissy. Never a dull moment.

DM- A success and a failure:

F- A success is being able to provide for my family, putting food on the table, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs.

Just being happy.

A failure would be, losing myself to make a buck. Forgetting why I am so passionate about what I do. Which I promised myself I’d never let that happen.


– A phrase: Keep On Keeping On.

– A film: Earth Girls Are Easy.

– A song: Little Ways, Dwight Yoakum.

– A drink: Mineragua.

– A book: The Stranger, Albert Camu.

– A country:  Europe.


  • Ten years in a coma / Ten years in jail (I love sleeping)
  • City life / Country life (Done with the city)
  • Talking to animals / Talking to the dead
  • Having more time / Having more money
  • Constantly winter / Constantly summer
  • Having a family with 5 kids / Not having kids at all
  • Always having your tees two size bigger / Having them one size small
  • Only eating salty food/ Only eating sweet food
  • Waking up in a desert / In a boat in the middle of the Ocean
  • Light on / Light off
  • Something organized / Something improvised
  • Visiting the past /Visiting the future
  • Motorcycle trip / Car trip
  • Being unable to see / Being unable to hear 
  • Reality / Fiction
  • Never leaving your city / Not being able to return
  • Continuing with your life / Restarting your life 
  • Knowing what you will die of / Knowing what day you will
  • Music concert/ Theater play
  • Being submissive / Being dominant