The inspiration for the "Fusion Concepts" line comes from a few different avenues. As a member of the Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild, I have the opportunity to learn techniques from a talent pool of professional metal smiths that is extremely saturated with skills, experiences, knowledge, and expertise. One of these members, Goph Albitz, has been a successful jewelry designer and maker on the west coast for over four decades. I love his work. He uses the fusion of gold onto silver, along with his own metal forming techniques, to create these wonderfully unique and beautiful pieces of jewelry.
With his guidance and blessing, I began to utilize the materials I had in my shop to accomplish a couple of important objectives. The first being to develop a line of jewelry that will eventual provide this business with steady customers. The second being to provide job opportunities for my apprentices. One of my apprentices, Amelia Coats, has been learning and working with me since I started my business in downtown Bend over two years ago. Our combined efforts have resulted in what you see today. Fusion Concepts is a line that will continue to evolve, as we evolve and develop our vision. We are currently using 925 sterling silver and 18k yellow gold in this line, but we will be expanding this line to use white gold, palladium, platinum, and 22k yellow gold
Mokume Gane finds its origins in Japan, within the realms of their highly skilled metal workers, and the word closely translates to "wood metal grain". The production of my mokume gane pieces is currently using copper, bronze, and silver.
In January 2015, I had the opportunity to take a one day workshop with one of Central Oregon's veteran blacksmiths, Joe Elliot of Dry Canyon Forge. I learned the process of making this excited material from start to finish. What I have done so far is basic and simple, yet fascinating to see, when you examine the patterns created. With endless possibilities for pattern development, I am excited to dive in to the world of Mokume Gane jewelry making.
Within the beautiful landscape of Oregon, there is quite a variety of minerals and gemstones that are unique to this land. The Biggs Picture Jasper, the Priday Plume Agate, Flower Plume Silca, and the Oregon Sunstone, are a few examples of the gems that can be found here. Growing up as a rock hound, and working as a professional jeweler as an adult, I have the opportunity to create one of a kind works of jewelry incorporating the many wonderful gemstones cultivated from Oregon. The geology of Oregon is incredible and I feel this is my way to pay homage to the place I call home.
The design styles I have been drawn to are Victorian and Art Nouveau. They mesmerize my mind with how intricate, complex, and yet organic they are, by drawing upon the beauty of nature to embellish the objects being created.
The flow of lines in dramatic curves and swirls, and complimented with the familiarity of leaves and flowers, imply a kind of biomorphic hybrid of forms that I find infinitely beautiful and inspiring.
Hand engraving is an art form that has been around for quite a long time. Over the past decades, the jewelry industry has seen a decline in the number of bench jewelers that are well versed in hand engraving. Seeing this trend and the number of people who wanted engraving done, but were unable to, motivated me to take up the task of attaining this wonderful skill set.
Discovering the tools and equipment manufactured by GRS in Emporia, Kansas, and taking a couple of the classes available at their training center there, made learning and practicing hand engraving so much more exciting and easier to accomplish. With over six years of experience hand engraving a variety of items, I have been able to create some amazing wedding bands, embellish pocket knives, commemorate birthdays and anniversaries on gifts, and refine details and aesthetics in my original custom designed works.
Hand engraving differs greatly than machine or laser engraving, because I am carving away metal from the piece, as opposed to etching slightly into the surface of piece. The hand engraving lasts many times longer than machine engraving and has a mirror polish finish that is only attainable with hand engraving. The engraving services I provide are versatile and easily adaptable to meet your needs.