Artist's Bio

In 1973 I began my development as an artist after several long years of waiting to be of age to enroll in the high school jewelry making class. During this waiting period I even tried to melt pennies on the back steps to pour into a mold below, heating the concrete till it exploded. That same year my jeweler grandfather passed away and after inheriting his 2nd generation tools, once also my great grandfather’s, was able to set up a jewelry workshop in my basement. I learned that jewelry was a tradition based in old world craftsmanship. It was as much science as art.

I went on to the U-W Stout in Menomonie where I focused on jewelry, ceramics and most importantly the development of classical drawing skills which today have become the foundation for my engraving art. In the early days, feeling rebellious to the minimalist pop and radical conceptual art of the period, I strove to make art based in craftsmanship and unique at all costs. The focus on uniqueness and individualism gave way over time to an appreciation for simply improving things. Making art better became more important than making things different.

Now I make jewelry to be both ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing. Picking up where the old masters left off and embracing tradition is what I value. I believe that every century is defined by a style of art and that the 21st century will mark a return to universal and traditionally established aesthetics. People don’t want art that they can make in their own garage. They want art that reflects accomplishment rather than hype. I hope you agree and voice it with your enthusiasm or patronage.

Thank You,

James Roettger