Silver jewelry and mixed metals: I know I call myself a silversmith but in reality and by definition I am really a goldsmith. The silversmith, as in the case of the legendary Paul Revere, made silver utensils, trays, pots and the like. He utilized repousse and chasing techniques and created what is known as hollowware where the item is hollow in the center so as to reduce the weight. A fork or knife made of solid silver would be heavy in the hand so they learned to make it lightweight by making the handles hollow. A goldsmith though, makes jewelry and small trinkets. He uses precious and semiprecious metals to create his works and may never even touch gold. I am, by definition, a goldsmith even though I do absolutely nothing with gold. I do work with silver, copper, brass and nickel and other metals as needed. I utilize a lot of techniques in my work, soldering, sawing, hammering, casting, and using cold connections to make my jewelry. I also cut most of my own stones. I cut free forms so as to reduce the amount of waste and as such, makes each piece unique.
Lapidary: Lapidary is the art of cutting stones for the use in jewelry. I not only collect the material, I also use large saws to cut into slabs where they are then cut into smaller pieces and eventually cut into cabochons or faceted. I do have templates that I can use when needed but I generally prefer to use my eye and make cuts so as to maximize the piece of material and reduce the amount of the material that is wasted. I cut cabochons, which are stones with convex tops and flat backs. The second type of cut is faceting. Faceting is the repetition of angles cut into a stone thus forming a complex and orderly array of angles in which light is reflected back towards the owner or viewer.
Culinary: The first job I ever had was in the food industry and over the next thirty years, I maintained some contact with food preparation of one form or another. My last job was as the pastry chef for a fine dining establishment here in Milledgeville. I made breads from scratch daily and created desserts such as cheesecakes, pies, brownies and others. I have been known to make cinnamon rolls that would rival those of Cinnabon. An earlier moniker for my business was Camelot Bakery and Catering. Of all the jobs I have ever had, it was the baking I enjoyed the most.
Woodworking: I have always worked with my hands. For over 12 years, I worked as a mechanic and did general handyman type work. I built furniture for friends back in college and later, just for fun. I made the booths and tables for the restaurant in Milledgeville. When they discovered that I was also a baker and caterer, they had me stay on after the construction to be their pastry chef. One of my specialties is building furniture with hidden spaces or blinds in them and working with recycled lumber. The wardrobe shown above was a commissioned piece that was made from recycled flooring boards that are well over a hundred years of age.