Dan’s Bio

Dan at his bench

Dan has always held a fascination for rocks, gems and metal.  As a young boy, he scoured the Wyoming prairie, an ancient sea floor to the East of the Rocky Mountains, and found fossils, quartz, and watermelon tourmaline; and from our more recent history, wagon wheel hubs and dated nails.

Dan’s parents discovered quickly that in order to preserve their sanity, they needed to look the other way.  When he was 8 years old, Dan stole his father’s propane torch and melted the lead fishing weights in the basement.  He poured the lead into his Mattel skull mold and proudly took the result to grade school to show all of his friends.  Power tools left unsecured by his parents provided an exciting source of experimentation for the gleeful young boy who found them.  There were a lot of unnecessary holes drilled in Dan’s childhood home…

Not surprisingly, Dan discovered in junior high that he excelled in shop class.  He was fortunate in having a good program and positive teachers who spotted his talent and encouraged him.  Greedily exploring the nature of steel, wood and plastic, Dan learned (officially) to weld, and he made a go-cart.  His studies expanded to include jewelry when he was a sophomore in high school, where an art teacher recognized Dan’s passion, taught him about making jewelry, and gave him free reign to explore.

Dan's First Ring, Age 13

Meanwhile, Dan’s mother also was instrumental in putting him on the jewelry path.  The two went rock-hunting many times, and after a trip to Idaho made for the express purpose of looking for garnets, Dan made his first ring at age 13.

Dan recalls that while still in high school, he saw an ad in his local employment office for a jewelry apprentice.  It paid $4.50 an hour and he wanted it so badly…  but he was still in high school.  Once he graduated, he took a chance and a bus to Portland, with $150 in his pocket, in the hopes of finding a manufacturing jeweler with whom he could apprentice.

Dan has worked on almost every aspect of jewelry there is.  He has made everything from ½ inch copper bees to a double life-sized bronze sculpture.  He is an expert in the arts of forging, gem setting, wax carving and lost wax casting.  He also is an accomplished die maker, having made coining dies and other jewelry stamping dies; and additionally, he has made bronze molds for a local glassblower.  He especially loves forging and fabrication by hand, and believes that jewelry should be made in this manner if possible, as it produces a superior product.

A perfectionist of the highest order, Dan alloys all of our metal and hand-mills all of our stock.  We purchase our precious metals from a local refinery that deals entirely in recycled metals.  We purchase our gems only from suppliers that pledge to sell conflict-free stones.

Our business philosophy is simple:  provide an excellent product, with personal attention, at a reasonable price.

To this day, Dan is at his happiest when he is at his bench…  and he loves a good challenge.  Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss special orders.  Thank you for your interest!