My work is an homage to the rocks and the mountains – a way to stay connected to the important things in life.
Born and raised in Taos, New Mexico, I was lucky to have grown up with the mountains in my backyard. I grew up creating, working the summers for my uncle, master goldsmith Phil Poirier. In college I studied photography, and after graduation I started building custom furniture. I got sucked into the endless work, struggling to find balance between my love for climbing and the outdoors on the one hand, and my creative work on the other. In time, I found my way back to metal, and I experimented with making my own jewelry while working for a tool company, Bonny Doon Hydraulic Presses.
In 2014 I had a pivotal change of thinking. Instead of seeing my two passions as separate, I asked myself:
What if I combine my passion for making art with my passion for climbing and the mountains? What if I delve into adventure in all aspects of my life?
Since that day, I have been on a journey to bring these aspects together. It is easy to be calm and at peace in the mountains, but how do we share that with the rest of the world? I'm a dirtbag for my art, and proud of it.
Whether it is the subtle details of the texture of granite, the effortless flow that only a hard climb can force us to find, or the amazing views from the top, the inspiration offered by the mountains, and the rock we climb on, is endless.
I want to capture the experiences we have outdoors and then bring them forward as mementos, to be savored in all the other moments of our lives.
Everything is made by me, in my small studio, in Taos, NM. I work with American-made machinery and tools. All materials, like stones and metal, are from the best, local if possible, eco-friendly sources.
Titanium and Niobium
Titanium is used mainly in the aerospace and medical fields. It is tremendously tough, lightweight, and will not corrode. It is a strong and beautiful material that, due to its unique properties, is difficult to work with. My bracelets are formed using 4 to 8 tons of force with special steel dies on a hydraulic press. Any detail or texture has to be machined. Titanium is tough, springy, and wears well, making it a wonderful material for jewelry. It is an industrial material and cannot be sourced with the same finish quality as gold or silver sheet. Small imperfections and scratches in finished pieces are marks of their gritty, industrial heritage.
Niobium is less common, used mainly as an industrial alloy, in superconductors, and for components in particle accelerators. It is named after Niobe, daughter of Tantalus in Greek mythology. Niobium is a like a sister to Titanium and the two share many properties, but where Titanium is tough, Niobium is soft and can be formed with much more detail. Under pressure I can move it like clay into highly detailed tool steel dies, creating unique textures, like my granite designs.
Anodizing is a special process applied to my Titanium and Niobium pieces that imparts brilliant, lustrous colors. Anodizing creates a thin, hard oxide layer by way of a controlled electrical current in a detergent bath. A photo cannot convey the spectrum of colors seen in a single anodized piece – changes in light and movement animate its surface. Small color variations and spots may occur, adding interest and unique beauty.
Care: Both metals are hypoallergenic (will not cause skin reactions) and non-reactive to chlorine (safe for use in hot-tubs & swimming pools). Clean these pieces with a soft cotton cloth and windex. Do not use abrasives or polishing cloths – they will wear off the natural colored oxides.