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Brian Marshall

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Well… Here’s a quick intro. Our site’s not working at the moment, and I’m short of time…


Left home at 15. Went to work as a horse breaker/trainer. Then as an exercise boy at the racetrack.


Started shoeing horses and working at the forge. Made my first Damascus out of cable - couldn’t give it away back then – no one knew what it was! Wish I still had some of it today... Did some standard blacksmith work – gates, gate hinges, latches, wall sconces, trick tools, other wrought iron work.


Met a harness maker, learned that, and made saddles and strap goods for some years. Saddles were mounted with silver. Had to learn to repair bent and broken ornaments. Learned to make replacements and engrave them to match the old stuff. Started making new silver. Fooled with hollowware a bit. Chased some of it.


Learned to make silver “trophy†buckles. Made more money than I’ve ever made in my life during the year that the movie “Urban Cowboy†came out. Everybody had to have one, and it had to be bigger and cost more than anybody elses! Just a fad, the following year I got 3 orders for buckles in the first two months. Time to move on…


Went around to a dozen jewelry stores in the county, and got work from five. Began a trade shop. Engraving, casting, fabricating, setting stones, and doing tons of repair work. At one time we did the work for 11 stores... Got injured in a pretty serious car wreck in ’86.


After over a year in hospitals, moved to Taxco, Mexico. Lived there on and off for 7 years. Designed jewelry that was made and brought back up to California and sell.


Eventually moved back to California and opened another engraving & trade shop with a retail store alongside it. Then started a school for locals who were interested in learning metalsmithing techniques in the evenings.


More health problems. I’d already had 27 broken bones and 14 major surgeries at this point. Moved the school and the trade shop. Gave up the retail… hated it anyway.


I’m a little crippled up these days - slowed down quite a bit, just doing/overseeing some contract commercial engraving. Teaching various metalsmithing techniques one week each month. Got two galleries after me to get back to work. Just hasn’t been enough time…


And that’s pretty much where I am now – 39 years later. Left out a few volumes of stuff that happened along the way, but y’all’ve got better things to be doing - at your benches – than reading this kind of stuff! Get to work!


Brian P. Marshall

Stockton Jewelry Arts School

Stockton, CA USA



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