I joined this forum 3 years ago with every intention of being an active member. Work has a way of grabbing me and spinning me around and the next thing I know another year is gone. A good friend of mine and fellow artist Frank Zika calls it "muse abuse". When the fiddle plays I dance.
I am a hand engraver, goldsmith, jewelry designer and lately working on becoming a gem cutter and carver. Making things and art have always been part of my life. When we were teenagers my brother and I use to steal street signs and make them into armor. I studied fine art, painting and sculpture in college and following graduation worked in an art bronze foundry in Paso Robles, CA as a metal chaser/ finisher. A stint running the metal department for National Resophonic Guitars in San Luis Obispo, CA got me interested in hand engraving. I sat in my garage with a book, a couple of gravers, and a $12 vice from the discount tool store and taught myself to engrave. For about ten years I had a business engraving musical instrument parts for different builders. I engraved the metal bodies for National Guitars, and Dobro. I worked on mountains of banjo parts, guitar tuners, snare drum shells, every kind of resonator guitar and ukulele, and electric guitar parts.
In the late 90's I started playing with jewelry on the side. The large format of musical instrument engraving had begun to be problematic as I got interested in more highly refined styles of working. It became difficult to find clients that wanted to pay for the level of work I wanted to do. Working on small scale jewelry objects made more sense for me. I also liked the materials in jewelry. Musical instrument parts are made of brass, steel, and nickel silver parts that need to be plated. I liked that jewelry could be made from gold and silver and no plating was necessary. If you want gold color use gold not gold plating.
Now jewelry has been at the center of my making for the last 10 or so years. My work is heavily influenced by decorative styles of working from around the world. I have started gem cutting this year and am setting up my studio to be able to do gem carving as well. Materials tend to grab me and pull me in and I am very excited about the possibilities in nephrite jade.
Blah blah blah. Now a few pictures
Thanks for letting me be a part of this I am very excited to get to know all of you a little better and hopefully sleep on some of your couches as i travel the world doing the fine craft show circuit.