Learn | Issue 4 Summer 2021

half, learning basic cutting techniques first , and then more advanced techniques like intaglio wax seal signet rings. After that , I attended the three-month optical diamond setting course at Alexandre School in Antwerp, Belgium. There I was exposed for the first time to the GRS GraverMax G8 and many other modern tools. Between the Italian “old school” way of hand making your tools and the Belgian newest tools and modern equipment , I have found a happy medium where I’m able to tap into both methods of working. After graduating in May 2015, I officially started working in the jewelry trade. I had a goldsmith studio in my apartment in the historical center of Vicenza. I did setting, engraving, and repair work for two Italian jewelers as well as online commissioned orders. I moved back to the Unites States in 2017 and attended my graduate gemologist course at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California.

When creating a new pi ec e of work , what proc ess do you go through? When I am working with a customer, I will often draw a counter sketch

with them after listening to their ideas. Many times this develops into an actual sketch for jewelry, engravings, or stone setting. The details of a customer ’s wishes can potentially get lost if I’m not present to hear their vision, so it ’s important for me to meet with them one on one.

How do you market and s ell your work? At the beginning of my studies my sister Naomi recommended I start an Instagram account and post pictures of Italy and my studies. I thought “Sure, what the heck.” I wanted to use “Johnny4” but that name was taken. Since my studies were beginning in Italy, I thought of combining “oro” (Italian for “gold”) at the end, that ’s how I created my brand. Facebook and Instagram were a great way to show my work living in Italy. Now I work at my family’s business and our customers can commission something in our store or digitally through Instagram.




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