What is the purpose of jewelry?

From the earliest known beads of 75,000 years ago, jewelry was not only adornment but represented status of some kind – social, religious, marriage, ethnic origin, stages in life. It has endured for thousands of years and provided insights into how ancient cultures worked. The first jewelry came from Africa – perforated shell beads found dating back 75,000 years. Outside of Africa, the Cro Magnums had necklaces and bracelets of bone hung on pieces of animal sinew. Prior to ancient Rome, starting at 700 BC, the Estruscans created incredibly fine and detailed gold jewelry…

As a silversmith, an interesting fact is that the basic creative methods are still used today, with little change other than electricity and acetylene to speed up the process. I like knowing that when I cold-forge, hammer and solder silver, it is the same process used for centuries. I feel connected to an ancient tradition.

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 “The common element among personal ornaments is that they convey meaning to others. They convey an image of you that is not just your biological self.” 

-Italian archaeologist Francesco d’Errico

In between, and during, this favorite work I have also owned two art galleries, and was the Director of three non-profit arts organizations – Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon Coast, plus the Northwest Print Council and Blackfish Gallery, both in Portland, Oregon. At present I have returned to the studio to focus on custom handcrafted silver and gold jewelry work. For you.

“If you have great jewelry you don’t need very many clothes.”


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