I've been making and selling jewelry for more than 35 years. Except for two short periods when I had talented apprentices, all of the work from my studio has been made with my two hands. I love the control that comes with making a piece from beginning to end. When finished, each new item reflects my perspective on design and the level of my hand skills. I take great pride in all of my work, which I make to satisfy a need to create. I hope each piece will find a home with individuals who enjoy it. I like to think that my work will out live me, and continue to have value for the people who wear it.
I was born in Washington State in 1947. The second of four children. I have three sisters. Dad was in the Navy and our family moved often while we were growing up. I remember living in two different houses near Seattle and twice we traveled to live in Japan. The first time there we lived in Kamakura in a Japanese house near the trolley tracks. Nearby was the great bronze statue of Buddha. Later we moved into military housing on the naval base at Yokosuka. On our second visit we lived on an old Japanese estate in Kamakura just across the street from the beach. Before we left Japan we moved into military housing in an area of Yokohama called Negishi Heights. It was a great time to live in Japan, just a few years after the war ended. There wasn't any English language television at the time so I spent lots of time listening to Armed Forces Radio and visiting the library for books to read.
We returned to the States in 1960. Mom and dad, or the US Navy decided that San Diego would be our destination. We arrived in California by ship, sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge and landing in San Francisco. We drove down the coast to San Diego and lived for several weeks in a Quonset hut near the Naval Station in National City. My parents soon bought a house in a new subdivision of La Mesa, near Lake Murray. I started school at La Mesa Junior High in the eighth grade then graduated to Helix High School. Having survived that experience and not having much direction, I enrolled at San Diego State College, starting there without a major. The first two years I spent taking classes that would fulfill my general education requirements. I thought I might eventually go into oceanography, or maybe languages. Eventually I took an art class and found I really enjoyed it. The next semester I took another class and eventually signed up for a weaving class. Arline Fisch was the instructor, replacing the regular professor who was on sabbatical leave. She was, and still is, a great teacher and inspired me to take her jewelry class the next semester. The following years were filled with many classes, and a lot of friends. I finished work on my undergraduate degree in 1971 and went on to do graduate work in the metalsmithing program, eventually finishing in 1975.
For the next year, I ran a small jewelry store in Ocean Beach. "The Bijou" was a good experience mostly because it taught me how little I knew about running a business. As that year neared the end I found myself looking for a way out. An opportunity to teach arose and I jumped for it and moved to North Carolina. The position was at Penland School, a small but well known craft school. It was a great place to be. Surrounded by the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and populated with people from all the United States and many other countries as well. The famous and infamous came there to teach during the summers. I taught the "concentration session" classes in the fall and again in the spring for two years ending in the spring of 1978. During the time between my classes I enjoyed the passage of seasons, did my own work and traveled a bit.
In 1978 I left Penland unsure of where I might go. Taking advantage of a housesitting opportunity I moved to Charlotte, thinking the time there would give me a chance to decide what to do, and it might be fun. Once there in Charlotte, I decided to stay for awhile and started to look for a job. I found one cooking for a delicatessen. I got to know the city and made some new friends. I did a little jewelry work during the next 8 months but not much. Just after Christmas in 1978 I was laid off work at the deli. I took slides of my work and some references to a jewelry store in the downtown area. Beam's had a very good reputation. My visit was serendipidous as one of their bench workers was leaving the next day. I was hired and worked there doing repairs and some of the custom work that needed more of an artistic touch. I learned a lot about repairing jewelry and about running a business. The people there were great and taught me a lot.
During the summer of 1979 I decided to move back to San Diego. I left Charlotte in April of 1980 with a Honda Civic loaded to the roof. Once back in San Diego I worked part time for various jewelers, taught an adult education class at Santana High School, and did my own work as well. Eventually, I first gave up teaching then working for other jewelers and took a chance at working on my own. I was fortunate to have the help of good friends and family and have been self employed ever since.