handforged iron gate

often i am asked how i came to make jewelry… and what do i do with that 250lb anvil in my entryway!

well in ’96, i had the very good fortune to apprentice with artist blacksmith angelo garro. truly a master, check out his site, beyond stunning work. having very little experience (read, none) i had to beg angelo to take me on (he later to confessed that it was only because he thought i was cute).

we forged all morning, a gorgeous fig tree gracing the half open air smithy. i learned masses from angelo and later, receiving a scholarship from ABANA (american blacksmiths association of north america) i had the amazing fortune of studying iron foliage with dorothy stiegler.

all of these incredible learning experiences came together in this handforged steel gate I created with John for a couple in Ramona. Interwoven with grape vines handforged from solid stock and adorned with grape leaves in Dorothy’s style, this was one of the few full blown iron projects I did on my own before turning my full attention back to jewelry in 2002.

the leaves and vines that wind through this door and gate are based on a cabernet grape motif etched on glass doors of the wine cellar in this beautiful home, which thankfully the home and gate survived the devastating witch creek fires that ravaged san diego in 2007.

The LifeChain, part 7

John is finally back to editing the rest of this series about my LifeChain custom jewelry project from this past summer in San Diego, just in time to help me illustrate that round of new inspiration from one of my fabulous clients I mentioned yesterday– check it out, and check in again this weekend to read about my first custom LifeChain commission!

Back to the studio after Pittsburgh; next LifeChain video soon!

Getting back to jewelry making and blogging about everything going on after a trip to my “extended” family home in Pittsburgh last week.

John took some fun pictures of the kids at the awesome Pittsburgh Children’s Museum but I wanted to post this page that John and I worked up for the LifeChain display at Joe Bedford’s Coalesce gallery at Kettner NIghts/NoLi Notte the Friday night before we left for the ‘Burg.

LifeChain page displayed at Coalesce, Little Italy.
LifeChain page displayed at Coalesce, Little Italy.

Thanks, by the way, to everyone who likes the LifeChain videos, I’m really overwhelmed at the response. John has assured me that he’s editing the rest of the series now, so look for new jewelry videos here soon!

18k white gold ring

I had a lovely holiday visit this morning from one of my first custom jewelry | engagement ring clients here in San Diego, who brought his daughter to pick up her new 18k white gold ring, custom made to celebrate her high school graduation this spring!

custom 18k white gold ring with marquis setting
custom 18k white gold ring with marquis setting

Custom jewelry can be a great graduation gift –imagine getting to design a keepsake | heirloom yourself (at least with a jeweller like me!) at a time of life when you’re designing so much else for yourself and your future… great gift, Dad!