It is just by chance that I became a metal smith instead of a luthier, as I was offered an apprenticeship to a cello maker in Chicago in the late 1970's. Instead I apprenticed at Mithril ltd, a wholesale and custom jewelry design store in Lexington Ky. I learned all aspects of the bench jewelers trade, and during this time I was exposed to and came to admire the beauty of hand engraving.
I enrolled at Bowman Technical School in Lancaster PA, in their hand engraving course and graduated in 1988. I worked for several jewelry stores, while in my spare time teaching myself the art of the silver smith. In 2001 I started my own hand engraving and silver smith's business.
I have been fortunate to have my work presented to or commissioned by such notables as: Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson, Ralph Steadman and Kurt Vonnegut. The Headley- Whitney Museum has a piece of my silver in their permanent Kentucky silver smiths collection.
I wish to pass on the creative meditative experience of producing beautiful items of the spirit, along with the physical joy of working with one's hands.
My goal is to introduce jewelry making to the student in an informative and engaging manner. I will be offering my students a chance to learn all aspects of the bench jeweler's skills from basic to advanced techniques. Making art should be enjoyable! We will discuss your design ideas before settling on one to start with. I will help the student do several scale drawings of the piece, then the student will start fabrication. I will lead the student through what is needed to complete each step through final polish. I will help as little or as much as the student requests. Unusual projects are welcome, as well as the use of non-traditional materials.
A mandatory 45 minute introductory meeting is require of new students. We will discuss the methods, materials, safety, and what you plan to accomplish. A waiver will have to be signed, if I take you on as a student.
I will donate my labor, if you will, at the end of the project, donate a reasonable gift to a local charity of your choosing. I will supply materials at my cost, (or you may supply your own), and you will have full use of my studio and tools.