I have been picking up rocks ever since I was old enough to have pants that had pockets. My mother has washed many a stone in the laundry after I failed to remove them from my pockets. To this day, I am still picking up rocks; only now, I can polish them and put them into jewelry.
I used to work as a pastry chef for a restaurant here in Milledgeville, Georgia. I was known for my fresh made-from-scratch breads, my cheesecakes and other pastries that were served exclusively in the restaurant. I loved my job until I had a massive heart attack on December 7, 2007. When I awoke in the hospital, the doctors informed me that I was now type-2 diabetic and would have to go on disability. I was indignant at being told that I would not be able to work. I was used to working all the time, baking in the restaurant in the morning and working in my custom furniture shop in the evening. In January of 2008, I underwent a quadruple bypass surgery on my heart. I was quick to discover that I could not do the work I had done before and so relented and went on disability. My loving wife soon got tired of me watching TV, playing on the computer, feeling sorry for myself because I could not do what I used to do. She and her mother helped me get back into the lapidary arts I love so much.
Prior to my work with the furniture and pastries, I had worked for about a dozen years as a mechanic for Chevrolet and GM. Having graduated with honors from a GM sponsored, dual degree program at Dekalb Technical College in Clarkston, Georgia where I earned an Associates degree, I worked in the automotive industry in many facets. My last stint was with Autozone where I was an assistant manager for them. After leaving the automotive industry, I decided to work in the computer field as a Internet tech support person. I ended up as a supervisor for Charter in Pennsylvania. I eventually ended back up in Georgia where Julie and I ran into each other again. Julie and I were high school sweethearts whom had gone different ways after school only to reconnect years later. She has two beautiful girls from a previous marriage and I have a son from mine. The eldest of her girls is Kat who has two beautiful daughters and the younger is Allison, who has one daughter. My son, David, has no children.
Julie and I grew up in Milledgeville, Georgia. Milledgeville was the antebellum capital of Georgia prior to and during the Civil War. While I attended Baldwin High School, Julie attended Georgia Military College. We were married in 2004 after getting back together. Julie is currently a student working on her masters of psychology. She asked me what I thought of her taking up this course of study and I told her it was okay as long as she didn’t use me a case study. (I know I’m nuts and don’t need her to tell me so….)
Julie works with Murano and Pandora beads, while I do goldsmithing and lapidary work. This site shows some of our work.
Note: Silversmith is technically the manufacture of hollowware like eating utensils and bowls, whereas goldsmithing is the use of silver in making jewelry. In other words, you can be a goldsmith and not do anything with gold while using silver as your main material.
Some other hobbies I have include woodworking, furniture building and design, animal husbandry, gardening, culinary arts, audio books and traveling.
We currently have two dogs, they are litter mates we got from a rescue center, they are catahoula leopard with Australian shepherd mix; two cats; three bunnies, Holland lop and lionhead mixes; two yellow bellied sliders (aquatic turtles) and about 50 chickens.