Throughout life you will happen upon certain people that, for whatever reason, are different than everyone else. They see the world as a collection of possibilities and challenges not problems and roadblocks. They find exciting ways to interpret the world and develop new methods to bring their vision into focus.
The world of jewelry is no exception. You will occasionally see an artist with exceptionally talented hands, crystal clear vision and creative spirit. Their work can be astonishing.
Rarer still is the designer who can harness talents to change the way they work; to hold a tool in their hand and not only know that there is a better way, but to bring it to life. The designers below have all found new ways and solved problems that no one else new even existed. As result they are each in their own ways changing the way we all think and work.
FDJtool.com is proud to showcase these exceptional individuals, these designers and the innovative products that have sprouted from their imaginations.
|Patti Bullard, Ph.D. is a jewelry maker experienced in a wide range of techniques.|
Her years of experience have made her well acquainted with the needs and frustrations of other jewelry makers. Her exploration of tools led her to the surprising and little mentioned fact that most tools used by jewelers were designed for use in other fields such as electronics and aeronautics.
Her search for the "perfect" jewelry making tools led her to develop her own; Wubbers. Her passion for teaching classes and seminars in jewelry making helped her realize the having the proper tool is very important. Not only is the right tool critical in to doing a good job, but they are help drive creative success and allow you to use your time and energy productively. You will enjoy the creative process much more when the tools help you.
Patti's Wubbers are pliers with a fun name but designed with precision, versatility and durability in mind.
|Saign Charlestein is a propmaker, who has worked in the film and entertainment industry since 2002. He began by working with and learning from some of the most talented artists in the film industry. Working on a variety of projects helped him discover that metalworking was the area in which he wanted to learn all facets. Saign specializes in intricate metal work, which includes armor and weapon fabrication, as well as the art of chasing and repousse. Notable projects include armor and weapons props from films such as The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), The Adventures of Johnny Tao (2005), Star Trek (2008), Ninja Assassin (2008) and G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra (2008). He also has an immense skill set in carpentry, welding, machining, fabrication, model building, mold making and many other skills.|
|William Fretz got his start in jewelry making while in high school in Pennsylvania. His essay "Creativity" was read at the graduation ceremonies. He graduated with High Honors, and received a BFA from The Rochester Institute of Technology's School for American Craftsmen in 1969. Since then, he has shown his work in galleries and juried shows in the United States and Mexico. He taught silversmithing at the Cleveland Institute of Art, and jewelry at The Portland School of Art.
It was during this time that his regrinding of hammers and stakes would
later lead to tool design.
Bill opened his first workshop in 1970 in
St. Peters, Pennsylvania with his wife Marian. In 1974 they moved
to Keenebunkport, Maine. This was the same year that they both
were in the World Silver Show in Mexico City. Over the years he has won numerous awards and commissions, including a commission from Paul Newman to make a presentation sculpture for the Hole in the Wall Camp. In 2000, Mr. Fretz, working with Jordan Fretz,
won first place in the Maine Jewelers Association's Annual Design
Contest for a 22K mesh bracelet.
In 2001, he began making models for a
line of jewelers' tools. These tools are now being distributed by major
catalog companies. In July, 2004, Mr. Fretz won a Maine Technology Institute Grant to design new stakes and a hammer to go with these new tools.
Today his line of hammers is manufactured is his son, Jordan's,
workshop in Vietnam. Bill and his wife continue their design work
in Buckport, Maine.
Sherri Haab is a best selling craft author with over 23 published books to her credit, with several selling over a million copies each. Award winning titles such as: The Incredible Clay Book (Klutz), The Art of Metal Clay, Metal Clay and Mixed Media Jewelry, The Art of Resin Jewelry, Beaded Macramé Jewelry and Designer Style Jewelry (Watson Guptill). Publishing honoraries include Craftrends 2006 & 2007 Best General Craft Book Award, Publisher's Weekly Cuffie Award, and Oppenheim's Toy Portfolio Gold Award. She has recently released how-to DVDs on Metal Clay and Resin Jewelry (CCP videos). Television appearances include: The Carol Duvall Show (HGTV), Jewelry Making (DIY), Good Things Utah (ABC) and Beads, Baubles and Jewels (PBS).
Haab is a certified metal clay instructor, leading numerous craft and jewelry making workshops internationally. Sherri has been a pioneer in the American Metal Clay revolution since 1996 when it was first introduced in the US. She is known for tracking trends in the craft industry and then educating consumers about how to use new products and techniques. Her own product, "ITS", is one example of a new craft innovation. This product allows printed images to be applied to polymer, tile and metal clay. She now resides in Springville, Utah with her husband and three children.
Lenart Kazmer has been an artist, silversmith, jewelry designer and
teacher for over 20 years . She
has become know for her mastery of "cold connections." She has
developed dozens of creative methods of cold joining using rivets,
staples, fibers, resins and other materials, turning the everyday object
into works of fine art.
More than a decade ago, Susan began using resins in her mixed-media jewelry. In her search for a
safer alternative to the harsh chemicals found in commercial resins, she developed
ICE Resin, a
crystal clear jeweler's grade resin that is environmentally safe, self-leveling, self-doming and self-healing.
Susan is an explorer, inventor and pioneer of jewelry making with found
objects. Her insight and creative philosophy has inspired
mixed-media artists and jewelers.
Susan has won many awards. Her work has been included in museum
exhibits in the Smithsonian, the Art Institute in New York, the
Huntington Museum of Art and the Post Picasso Gallery among others.
Internationally acclaimed artist, educator, author and publisher Victoria Lansford creates one-of-a-kind wearable pieces of art and art objects that evoke the mystery and splendor of ancient masters, yet are infused with her own provocative vision. She has pushed the boundaries of design and execution in many old world techniques, including high relief Eastern repoussé, Russian filigree, chain making, and granulation in over 20 years of comprehensive exploration of metal as art.
Victoria's award winning work has appeared in juried and curated shows, including most recently Metal Inclinations 2, presented by the Society for Midwest Metalsmiths, National Art Encounter, The von Liebig Art Center, Naples, FL, and eXtreme Tea, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Her artwork has also been featured in many books and magazines, including Metalsmith magazine’s 2007 Exhibition in Print, Chasing & Repoussé by Nancy Megan Corwin, The Jeweler’s Studio Handbook, by Brandon Holschuh, multiple issues of Lapidary Journal: Jewelry Artist magazine, Art Jewelry magazine, and on Home & Garden Television’s 2007 season of That’s Clever.
A long time educator in the arts, she is committed to sustaining ancient techniques by passing on this ancient knowledge to other artists. She served as head of the Jewelry and Metalsmithing Department at the Spruill Center for the Arts in Atlanta from 1997 to 2004, creating its comprehensive program, and was an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Victoria continues to teach and mentor students throughout the world.
Victoria’s internationally collected artwork is available in art galleries around the United States and through this website. She creates and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
|Adolfo Mattiello is a jeweler, model maker, author and teacher.|
His professional jewelry experience began in Europe and South America where he was educated. He came to New York City to study at the School of Visual Arts, Art Student League, The Fashion Institute of Technology, and The Mechanic's Institute. Adolfo's technical background includes industrial design as well as jewelry design.
For over 20 years he worked as a model maker and jeweler for various jewelry manufacturers in New York. His wealth of experience led him to create tools for jewelry modeling and discover new techniques in wax modeling.
Mr. Mattiello has taught model making classes at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco and at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington.
He has authored Wax Modeling for Jewelry and Sculpture, a technical manual for the wax extruding and weaving process, Techniques of Jewelry Illustration and Color Rendering, an assortment of jewelry rendering methods based on his practice, and How to Create Settings, a specialized publication for model makers.
Count yourself luck if you have ever had the privilege to attend one of Mr. Mattiello's demonstrations. The ease with which he could manipulate his Matt Wax Tools and create a wax model while having a "chat" about his tools would convince you that you could make anything. With is extraordinary tools, you probably could.
Kate Wolf has been carving wax and
making jewelry for more than 32 years. She has been teaching
classes and seminars throughout North America for more than 21 years,
She has taught at the Maine College of Art and written technical
articles for the MJSA Journal. (Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America).
She is a former master modelmaker and Director of Production for the
Jewelry Division of the Franklin Mint. She holds a BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry from Tyler School of Art.
In addition to designing her own line of silver and gold jewelry, Kate
has made master models for manufacturers and marketers such as Monet,
Lenox, L.L. Bean, Disney and QVC.
Her company Wolf Tools features innovative, high quality products including Wolf Precision
Wax Carvers, the Wolf Belt Sander, Looping Pliers, Wax Cylinder Burs and
Wolf Milling Wax made by the Kindt Collins Company (of Ferris Wax Fame).