Glad to meet ya!
I have been collecting rocks since Edina had gravel pits and cutting them since high school. I love watching my kids mature and enjoy all types of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, fishing, pheasant hunting and cross country skiing. I have always enjoyed experiencing other cultures so I consider traveling overseas for work a bonus. Especially if my wife, Shelly can take the time to come along! I've hunted with German Shorthaired Pointers ever since I had a place of my own and am currently raising my fourth, a puppy named Zoey.
I really try to foster an atmosphere of creative freedom at Veberod so the rest of the staff can pursue their passion for gems and jewelry in whatever direction it takes them. I believe in hiring people who love what we do so much, the best days don't even seem like work :-)
I have always loved making things with my hands and have done so for as long as I can remember. My dad had to give me a set of my own tools by the time I was 7 or 8 in self defense to keep me out of his! I've tried many different jobs, even thought I had found my career many times, only to move on a few years later. When I discovered this field, I knew I had found my passion- a corner of the world where I would never stop learning, never get bored! Even better, I get to share my passion and knowledge with other people curious about metal smithing. Ten years later, I love what I do even more than I ever thought possible. In addition to making jewelry, I love all things dog (animal, really), gardening, reading, meditating, and nerdy TV shows/movies.
I attribute my deep love of making things to my grandfather. I remember as a kid, probably 5 years old, working in his woodshop with him, learning to make my own toys. As I got older, I discovered a love of pottery that just grew over time. I have a deep connection with things that embody function and beauty.
I have completed 2 apprenticeships, one in ceramics and another in rattan work and leather braiding.
I was working as an art teacher in a high school when I realized that I simply needed to get back to making things with my own hands and jumped at a chance to apply my skills to goldsmithing. Working at Veberod is fun, challenging, and rewarding.
I was born and raised in Plymouth, where I now live with my wife, Maria, our 2 kids, and 2 cats. In addition to making things, I also love camping and being outdoors.
My fascination with jewelry started when I was just a kid wearing all of my parents’ gold rings around our home. I began making jewelry in high school when my parents encouraged me to take metal smithing classes. My teacher noticed I had talent and an intense interest in the jewelry trade. She got me a job here at Veberod where I’ve learned an incredible amount from everyone.
Jewelry-making is now not only my job but also my hobby and passion. When I’m at home you can usually find me in my workshop cutting stones or fabricating all kinds of jewelry from scratch .There are always so many new techniques and skills to learn. I push myself to learn more about jewelry making each day whether it’s something ground-breaking or common knowledge.
My other passion is travel. I enjoy exploring new places, visiting historic sites, and immersing myself in different cultures. I also like to see what kind of jewelry they wear.
I am sensing a theme here since I, too, have been making things since I was a small child and could hold a hammer or saw or scissors. I remember eyeing my dad's tools covetously... but I never got my own. So, I had to grow up and get my own, as one does! I took silversmithing in high school and loved it, but then went to Minnesota State and got a Bachelor of Fine Art degree with an emphasis on painting and drawing. While I was there, I was fortunate enough to have a prof that embodied everything I wanted to do and be in life- she was an instructor that cared deeply for her students, imbued life lessons in art and surrounded herself with beautiful things.
Life happened, I got married, had two fantastic kids and several jobs, many of which involved teaching in some capacity- but I never forgot what I really wanted to do- teach art, empower others, make and surround myself with beautiful things. I sought out Veberod at a point in life when I felt the pull to do something truly challenging creatively, and silversmithing definitely fits the bill! I was also delighted to find out I can write and be funny and snarky at the same time- writing student newsletters is pure joy! So, here I am, and hope to be here for a long time into the future.