Learn | Issue 4 Summer 2021

What kind of work do you do? I am a graduate gemologist , a stone setter, a hand engraver, and a goldsmith. I also design jewelry. Pl eas e d escrib e your work history/exp eri enc e sinc e you b egan metalworking. My family has independently owned Diamonds Direct (not to be confused with the chain of the same name in the South) in Minneapolis since 1981. I was exposed to jewelry and diamonds at a young age but always looked at it as a sales job and not as an artistic career. In high school I was in advanced drawing, which influenced my artistic interests. I also learned to knit after college. After working in juvenile probation for three years, I was deployed to Iraq with the Army Reserve in 2009 for one year. Upon returning home I decided to make the leap and follow a dream in Italy to become a goldsmith. I studied at a government-run goldsmith school in Vicenza, Italy, Scuola D’Arte E Mestieri. I became interested in creating jewelry by hand when I was exposed to stone setting and engraving during the “incastonatura delle gemme” (in English, “gem setting”). My studies in Italy allowed me to see the old school ways of making jewelry. We made everything with wire and sheet metal; you really learn the labor of love for each piece you create. We made our own tools and polished them using an Arkansas Stone. None of the instructors spoke English, it was all taught in Italian with a Venetian dialect. It definitely was a challenge; I had Italian language classes four hours each week on top of my full-time jewelry coursework for the first few months I lived there. Using the Italian method of hand-push engraving to finish (polish) the belly of my (graver) tools with emery paper was fascinating, and hand-cutting various shapes got me really intrigued in hand engraving. I apprenticed for hand engraving in Padova, Italy under Michele Griggio. I apprenticed for a year and a




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