I started making jewelry sometime in the early 90′s. It’s a little fuzzy exactly when but I do remember the exact moment I decided to commit fully to it. It was when my professor at Northern Arizona University suggested that I should change my major to jewelry, not really knowing better, I did exactly that…and have never looked back. It was one of those simple yet life altering momments.

My jewelry experience is fairly broad. I have a MFA in Jewelry/Metalsmithing from Texas Tech University as well as about 10 years of retail bench experience.

mark_nelson_photo-300x225I have yet to master any particular skill but am quite fluent in many aspects of jewelry making. So I often tell people that I can do pretty much anything from making an award winning piece with rubber worms to setting a 3 carat flawless princess cut diamond in a custom platinum band. I currently work for Rio Grande Jewelry Supply (a major jewelry supply company) as a Tech Support Agent . It’s in this capacity that I get to help people every day in the field that I love. I also teach several classes, create pieces and projects for publication and develop tool prototypes. In addition to my passion for helping people I still love to sit at the bench and create.

I guess my Artist Statement would be something like “I like making cool shit…really well”. Not very intellectual nor what the romantic notion of what an artist statement should be for sure, but the real question would be…Why?

Why? Because I believe in magic. Objects, particularly jewelry, play an important role in our lives. They declare our individuality, symbolize the union of two lives, commemorate events and represent the lives of our ancestors . They mark events that come to form who we are and empower us to do the things we wish. They are mystical, metaphysical, lucky…or cursed. They are, in many ways, just plain magical. What I strive to do is make work that is worthy of such responsibility.