How Montana Metalsmith Got It's Start

It was September 14, 2008, when my father took his last breath. My wife and I had made the quick trip to Sheridan, Wyoming, from our home in Billings, MT, to be with him that morning. While at his bedside, he and I shared some final thoughts. Surprisingly, he was emotional about the thought of his silversmithing supplies and materials going to what he feared could be “a lousy garage sale”, where he felt it would be sold for pennies on the dollar. For the first time ever, he asked me if I would take over his studio. Even though I had never spent time with him while he worked away in his studio, and even though I knew very little about the craft, I enthusiastically agreed (more so just to make him feel better about this whole situation). A few hours after that talk, he passed away.

I’m a self-taught artist. No doubt having the good fortune of starting out with so many tools, equipment, and material from my father’s studio. My father learned the craft from his winter stays in Arizona (he was from Casper, WY where I grew up). He was influenced heavily by the Southwestern Native American style, where Turquoise and Sterling Silver dominated his work. After I acquired his materials, and even though I was working full time in my regular job, I found myself stealing away during any free time to my new basement studio. I absolutely fell in love with Silversmithing. I retired from my 40 years in media a few years ago, and now work full time on my craft. As I mentioned, I’m self-taught but have also indulged in a little bit of formal training. I’m a recent graduate of the Alan Revere ‘Let’s Make Professional Jewelry’ class that he provides online. Alan is a world-renowned master jeweler and the current President of the American Jewelry Design Council. If I were categorize my work, I’d say it’s a combination of traditional Southwestern design with a modern twist. My materials of choice are primarily Fine Silver and Sterling Silver and my gemstones of choice are primarily Montana Moss Agate and Turquoise. I’m passionate about quality craftsmanship and admittedly, a bit nutty about 5-star customer service.

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