My jewelry pieces are all built around hand-cut, unusual gemstones, that are mostly found and cut in the U.S.A. I work with a number of different stonecutters, who have learned to accommodate my unique eye. When I’m looking at their stones though, I mystify most of them. They’ll show me a parcel of newly cut gemstones and tell me: “guaranteed sellers”. I just yawn. Then out comes a new type of green stone: chrome oxide tremolite, for example. “I want that stone!” That’s how I know. I want that stone! It doesn’t matter that no one’s ever heard of chrome tremolite!
With the stone in-hand, then the design process begins. In my earlier days, my (un)specialty was overwhelming the stone with too much silverwork. It’s easy to do, because I like doing the metalwork — a lot! But too much is still too much. Now I try to add just enough art to make it fun, and draw you to the stone, but not too much. It’s really the beauty of the natural stones that drive my work.
Each silver piece starts with a sketch. A setting (or “bezel”) is then hand-made just for that one stone, and the artistic elements are built and soldered together to match the sketch. Sometimes I’ll then add more to the piece, or sometimes I’ll clip off elements into the scrap jar. Remember… I’m trying to not distract you from that awesome stone!
The pieces are then polished (more work than you’d think!), priced, and displayed. And that’s it. I load them into my van, and bring them to the shows you’ve seen me at. So, I hope YOU will come to my next show to see the cool stones I’ve found recently, and judge for yourself whether I controlled myself or not!