Tim Spencer – Jewelry, Lapidary Artist, Custom Cabochons

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How would you describe your art?

I make custom cabochons usually setting them in custom silver, fine silver, or Argentium silver. I prefer South Western type pieces and utilize custom Native American stamps in some designs. I do some copper work periodically and necklaces to go with pendant pieces. I make large sterling mens bracelets along with stone set pendant and bracelet sets.

Who is an artist that inspires you? Why?

Mostly Hopi and Navajo Indians of the past. Because they made such beautiful pieces with crude locally made tools.

Please describe your creative process.

I usually start with choosing the cabochons and precious stones and design the piece around them depending upon the result I’m looking for. Custom bracelets are created with a lay-out and size assessment. Any repousse, stamping and markings are first put in place. Stone settings and inlay pieces are final cut as the silver design piece progresses. Many processes are gone thru to get a finished polished piece.

What are you favorite materials or mediums to work with?

I prefer Sterling silver, fine silver and Argentium, along with copper and some occasional gold additions. I am also certified in PMC Metal Clay.

What inspires you to create?

I have intensively traveled back woods America in a few of my custom vans. The folk artisans leave me with inspiration an at time great learning. My father and mother were both educators with afforded me a great youth growing up on or around Kent State and use of many of the Universities shops with my father when I was young. We always went to many museums as I still do when traveling. I love many different genres of art. Yet, chose smithing and lapidary as a way to come back from a serious military injury. I continue new schooling every year since 2013 at William Holland Lapidary School of Arts located in the North Georgia mountains in Young Harris, GA. The varied people there give me great inspiration and creative ideas.

What are you trying to communicate with your art?

With the lapidary area I communicate to people that God has given us all many beautiful things we walk over everyday in rural forest, quarries and even farmers fields. We must learn what to look for and turn them into beautiful pieces of art. Making the rough stones into jewelry simply compliments a rock we found in mother nature.

What makes your process different to other artists?

Some of my cabochons are several precious stones glued together then made into the design. Not a lot of cutters do that. I don’t know that my processes are different since I was taught by old masters each with something new. Allowing me to do better more unique pieces.

What is your favorite quote? Why?

“Don’t the Bible say we must love everybody?” “O, the Bible! To be sure, it says a great many things; but, then, nobody ever thinks of doing them.” But, Its beyond time all people take God more seriously fore when we don’t live by his word we will be in trouble in the end. Me in my life I choose his word. Because it says it all.

When did you start making art? Why?

I started making different art when I was a child, painting, threw pottery, some metal work, and sculpturing. Simple cause my father got me into the University work shops for free or a nominal fee. And it also probably kept me out of a lot of trouble.

I started silver and rock work in 2007, when I met a friend Don Gesaman while in the VA. We hung together and he inspired me to begin. Than I took classes under Margaret Vukmanovich who with her husband had brought the V-Rock Shop to the Canton area. She was a master I went to her classes years fall and winter.

What is the most influential piece of art you have experienced? Tell us about what it means to you.

I have traveled a ton of museums and galleries, not a simple choice. I enjoy The Melting Watch, Salvador Dali, and his surrealist pieces as well as Louis Icart Original 1936″Gargantua” Series. In silver I enjoy Squash Blossoms with a lot of turquoises.

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