For many years I was on the road, attending conventions and festivals and two of the most common questions was “How do you make this?” and “How did you start out?”
I started off as a child…
My first reach into jewelry was wanting something that I could not find. When I was seven years old I had asked Santa clause to gift me two badges: I pains taking developed sketches of that I wanted and offered it to him days before Christmas. The odd thing to me at the time was the careful “handing off” of the sketches to my parents while I was “being distracted” by a very tall elf.
After not getting the badges I asked for, my suspicions grew and I though about making the pieces myself. Fortunately my parents later gifted me with a copper enameling kit. I developed a technique of enameling by mixing color and design in the powder, however in the tiny kit the control over design was a bit hap hazard.
As with all things in our childhood, the kit was “over used” and eventually when the hot plate was borrowed and burnt up, I returned to other forms of art. My Mother was a professional artist and trained me in painting, sculpture and many other forms of artistic media and technique. Coupled with music (Piano and Guitar) I began to develop a way to reproduce and interpret what I saw, felt and thought.
I cannot remember a time when I was not sculpting, yet when the opportunity to take a jewelry class, I went into fabrication: working directly in the metal rather than casting. I will always be grateful for this because the broader the education in the field.
It was not until I was going through a rough patch in my life and found myself back in my parent’s home and access to a jewelry bench again that I went to an exhibit of Lalique at the LA county art museum that I found I was on the right track. In combination with my studies in metaphysics, (focusing on the art) I decided to bend the boundaries of my work to include esoteric imagery and use of my art.
For years I had attempted to develop a Tarot Deck, however these adventures into the project kept solidifying into “logo” like pictures rather than paintings. Seeking the work of a master who bent the rules as to what was to be jewelry and what was art, I was inspired.
In order to work on the project, I started to create custom jewelry for folks, building my bench of tools and honing my skills, I began to work out of a shop: the Crystal Cave, at the time in Santa Anna, California. Karen Tate, the owner of the shop was extremely supportive and began to display my work in her cases; all the while I was driving a truck.
In 1992 I went full time into jewelry, moved to Newport News, Virginia and completed the Tarot Caster Set: the first (and only) three dimensional Tarot Deck of it’s kind. Yes, each of the Major Arcana may be used almost pharmaceutical, however when used together the set is a deck which may be dropped and read as they fall. I developed the name “Tarot Casters” because the process is much like casting a net. In some of the more esoteric writing, Tzaddii (the Hebrew letter attributed to the Star Card) is the fish hook: one drops one’s mind into the great waters of the unconscious to see what would bite. By using the entire major arcana, one is using a much broader casting for ideas, inspiration and (perhaps) answers on one’s troubles.
Within a few months of being on the East Coast, I was introduced to a more esoteric community which appreciated what I had accomplished and rewarded me with praise and commissions for more work. I began with creating jewelry for circles, covens and groves as well as Churches and other religious organizations, focusing on Serving Spirit rather a specific religious trend. The only criteria I’ve maintained is that all is focused on Good Intent.
Thanks to a commission by my land lord, I developed a Tap Handle for his private reserve, thus I returned to sculpting, one of the first steps in training in my youth. I sculpted in in pieces, then assembled them after casting – a technique used in much larger pieces, however when casting with a jewelry centrifuge you are limited in how large one can go. For several decades, I focused on tiny pieces rather than the large ones, however after working so small, the larger pieces came easy, but they required me to look to a foundry rather than relying on my tiny set up for rings and pendants.
It was when I sculpted a pair of motor cycle mirrors that I turned to a local artist for help. He (who as asked me to omit his name) taught me the gaps I had in casting larger pieces, then introduced me to his buddy who had a foundry at his disposal.
At this point, I have the ability to cast at any size: even life size (and bigger). I continue to serve those who want jewelry through my website. I do not have a “store” but rather I do show my work at the Mystic Moon in Norfolk , Virginia, should anyone wish to drop in and see it . As always, I have a full catalog for your review and a gallery of some of my work. Most of the images of the pieces made in the past are “lost” in that I have not had a digital camera the entire time, so only in the pat ten years do I have pictures worthy of display.
If you wish to have something made for you, please view my website and don’t hesitate to email me with any questions.
I look forward to hearing from you!