James is one of our newest members, having joined MSG last fall.
“I’m really excited to start with the Guild and be a part of it. I was born and grew up in Pinckney and that’s where I first started with metalworking. Hallie Levine was my teacher during my sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school and everything that I know I learned in that class. It also started my love for metal working and acted as a great break during the school day where I could just relax and create things.
Right now I'm in my sophomore year of college at the University of Michigan where I'm studying geology. I hope one day to be an accomplished mineralogist and gemologist. I love colored stones and although I haven't been able to use any faceted gems in my work yet, I've set a few cabochons that I've made and its my favorite thing to do so far. My favorite piece I've made is the pendant that is pictured because it was the first time I set a stone. The stone is Kona Dolomite from the Upper Peninsula. I gave it to my mom.
I also love to do woodworking, and the pen in the picture was also made by me. All in all I just love to create things, especially things that will be worn, used and loved by people. I feel like that is one of the driving reasons I like jewelry and metalsmithing so much. I am attracted to the combination of different mediums like metal with stone settings or metal and wood and think it brings out the beauty in both mediums. I've done a little bit of this mixed media in the past, but one if the big things I'm going to explore next is the combination of different forms like that.
A few of my pieces were in the "Junior Potential" shows that my school system held. I've never sold any of my metal pieces but I sell a lot of wooden things to family and friends.