This weekend I am celebrating my 30th year!
The story of the beginning of Amulets by Merlin actually takes place over a decade earlier. I have been interested in the making of jewelry and sculpture for most of my life. In the early days of High school (1971 I was in a Madrigal group, singing A cappella with a small host of other students. I wanted to make something for the girls to go with their formal gowns. For a few years before I have been beading and creating beads and charms for my own amusement as well as sculpting in clay. For the Madrigal group I decided to forge ahead and fuse bent wire in the shape of the word: “Mads” to be hung on chains. The girls loved them and thus I began a journey in discovering their fabrication end of jewelry making.
As life does for so many of us, I found myself getting married and taking on jobs such as construction and later working as a draftsman, truck driver and other forms of employment. I continued to focus on the arts in sculpture and painting, but still attempted to make rings, and necklaces.
In 1985 I refocused my efforts to to transform images of the Tarot into small sculptures. Because of this fascination I attended (a year later) an exhibition of La Lioue jewelry. I was inspired and in mid April of 1986, I took out my first business license and began to form my own line of jewelry. I then began my public presence in a shop called “The Crystal Cave” in Costa Mesa, California with the blessings of Karen Tate. Slowly I built up my tools and shop.
After a severe accident, I found myself no longer able to drive a truck and so focused on jewelry design full time in 1990, the next year I received training at the Gemological Institute in California. My first big festival was Marshal Scotties Renaissance Fair in Southern California. After several festivals on the west coast I moved to Virginia. By 1992 I completed the jewelry line for the Tarot, also developed a lot more featuring God and Goddess images, natural themes such as trees and flowers. I had also taken on a number of custom pieces. By the time the digital age came into being, better photographs were available to me and by 1998 I started my first online presence, all the while attending art festivals, gatherings and other events up and down the East coast.
After decades of being on the road, I have now focused more on custom designs and staying in my shop as much as possible. You may still view my work at the Mystic Moon in Norfolk Virginia or on line at Amuletsbymerlin.com.
It has been a very long and strange road, indeed. In a couple of weeks I plan to release a new piece! Watch for it, it’s a big one!