I began my career in jewelry design while studying Fine Art at the University of Wisconsin - Stout in 1991. It was there that I made my first piece of jewelry. The Art Metals program hooked me immediately at the time because it focused more on design and pushing the boundaries of what could be done with metal. I also just loved the processes involved in working in metal, casting, forging, shaping and creating a piece with hammers, torches and your bare hands. I knew I had found my passion. I loved the satisfaction I got from creating a beautiful piece from this material that seemed so hard, tough and difficult to manipulate.
After finishing college, I lived for three years in the mountains of Colorado. I apprenticed with a jeweler there to further refine my skills, but was still creating on my own. My style seemed to grow from my environment. My jewelry had a rougher feel, incorporating different textures, non-traditional materials and found objects as well. I used to hike in the mountains and explore old, abandoned gold mines in search of rusty steel or interesting artifacts to create jewelry with. After relocating to Minneapolis, my work evolved into a more polished, urban style, while still carrying themes from my mountain life. My jewelry became more refined but I was still attracted to interesting textures, patterns and a unique hand crafted look. For example, an old rusted bolt creates the signature look featured on my weathered texture rings and earrings.
I spent the next five years in an apprenticeship, designing for a Minneapolis jewelry gallery based in the Dominican Republic that catered to a large international clientele. During this period, I was exposed to and influenced by some of the top Italian, German and Swiss designers. They were producing some of the highest quality work I had ever seen. I was impressed by their use of the finest materials and their attention to design, weight and texture in the pieces they created. I try to emphasize these qualities in every piece I create. These experiences and influences have inspired the evolution of my current modern style.