My first piece.
My first piece
It all started with this first piece. At the age of fourteen I was visiting a friend at his father's house. His dad was an incredible craftsman who made stained glass lamps and windows. We played around with scraps and bits of glass this was the first thing I came up with.
After making this pendant I was hooked on stained glass for awhile. I bought a small set of tools and began making pendants which I sold on Venice Beach in California. I would walk up and down the beach with 10 or fifteen stained glass pendants hanging from leather laces. I sold a few and met people from all over the world in the process.
What struck me was the way some people responded to each piece. It was personal for them and they wanted to know what the meaning of the symbol was. At first I just made it up. I told them it meant Perseverance, because working with glass can be difficult, it often breaks when you don't want it too. To get good at it one needed perseverance. In time I learned that each and every item made can mean many things and its up to the owner to decide.
This was the beginning of a life long exploration for me, working with my hands to create things that give pleasure and meaning. I have always felt the items we choose and the ideas we attribute to them add a richness to life, beyond the intrinsic value of the metal and precious stones they are made up of. I think Jewelry is unique in its ability to last and become part of our self identification, and it can be a powerful reminder to those we love of our feelings for them.
So what started with stained glass turned into stringing beads, then wire wrapping and eventually wax carving and lost wax casting. Eventually I landed on several techniques most of which require a torch and a hammer, but I love all aspects of the process and will use any tool I can think of to create the ideas in my head. I no longer work with glass or use beads all that much but I appreciate the road I have walked and look forward to each new bend in the path ahead of me.