I approach jewelry as sculptor, painter, and as a person who has enjoyed stones all his life yet not really the way a jeweler would. A stone has a higher value for me when it has a very dramatic appearance in its texture and color. Therefore, I like to work mainly with semi precious gemstones, such as jasper, agate, rhyolite, or turquoise, and opal which have these artistic qualities. Of course, there are differences in appearance within a particular group of these gems or minerals as well– the more intense the color or pattern, the higher the value I assign to them. The high priced gemstones like diamonds, ruby or sapphires are only in a limited way of interest to me. I use them occasionally to complete a composition. Their brilliance is due to the skillful and patient work of cutters, or is otherwise not visible. Because these gems when not faceted lack having dramatic color differences, I do not regard them as individual stones.
The creative process starts for me by choosing an interesting stone. In certain ways, I feel like a ‘treasure hunter’ but one who likes to reveal the stone’s ‘character’. Nature gives me ‘everything’ in a piece. The perceived drama or beauty just needs to be highlighted through a very selective cut, creating and revealing a composition within the stone. This revealed composition or “nature’s art” has to be supported by the overall composition of the wearable artwork. This is achieved by using sometimes vibrant symmetrical designs or other times with dynamic, asymmetrical compositions that are balanced. Depending on what the overall piece guides me to do, I bring stones together or I place them apart. I think, our vision is circular and not framed in a rectangular or square format. If everything in a piece or in the composition is right, it will resonate within the person who looks at it and wears it.
Also, I take great care that my wearable sculptures, as I like to call them, are most comfortable to wear. It should almost feel as part of the body, instead of being a burden, so it can become part of life. If using beads to complete a necklace or bracelet I select specific shapes that have the right size and weight to interact well with the neck and skin. Since the surface of a pendant is shaped by hand, it has three dimensional surface that invites to be touched and felt. Physical information, such as the stone’s smoothness or roughness, its overall texture, or its warmth/ coldness will be discovered by he fingertips.
The inspiration for my art comes from the natural landscape and nature’s colors and shapes— just as with my other art work. For me, certain stones with their colors and patterns reflect different parts of our environment.
However, silver is the connecting source in my work. It’s the growing process within the piece. I move, twist, forge and shape it the way I feel necessary. Compared to the stone, it is flexible and soft as water. Its color can reflect silvery clouds in the sky, or silvery, reflecting band of a river, winding through the valley or when forged a certain way, silver resembles the flow of water and waves.