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Press: Jerry Spaulding Design

Chilton’s, Jeweler’s Circular Keystone Magazine, January 1986 Issue

Article: Marin Scope 1975

Chilton’s, Jeweler’s Circular Keystone Magazine
January 1986 Issue by Lesley Gertz,
JC-K New York Editor (pages 68-69 and 76-77)

Jerold Spaulding Inlay Expert “Super clean” describes the superb inlay work of Sausalito goldsmith Jerold C. Spaulding. This fourth generation resident in a town of wealthy newcomers specializes in inlaying stones like black jade into 14k gold men’s and women’s rings and cufflinks, retailing for $320-$1,200. He calls black jade “our forte’, a terrific stone to work with.” In double-tension stone setting, one of the methods he prefers, stone and metal are cut together for the results he wants: “very clean, without an epoxy line.” The rings themselves are dimensional and sculptural, some very smooth-edged and others more textural. Spaulding’s second-floor Princess Court workshop is just a 20-minute drive over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. His road begins only a block from sparkling San Francisco Bay and winds it’s way steeply up among Cliffside homes. He and five workers do everything in house except pave’ diamond setting on his production line of about 150 pieces. Wedding bands are their strength, accounting for more than 60 pieces. Spaulding began his business nearly 12 years ago with three accounts in town. At the time, he often handled such custom jobs as intricate, life like faces in gold. He did enough business that David Hurley Goldsmiths, located next door, wanted (and got) him exclusively in exchange for a minimum guaranteed purchase. In late 1980, Spaulding began redoing his designs and branching out. He now has about 50 retail store accounts, each with territorial exclusivity. For five years, wholesale jewelers Bagley & Hotchkiss carried and sold Spaulding’s Sample line. But that arrangement has ended, partly because some customers “were mistaking our work for theirs,” Spaulding says. He now is looking for a sales representative for the Midwest and East Coast. Meanwhile, he’s wondering whether to try to expand or “keep it simple.” He’s actively thinking of selling or leasing certain designs. Output now is from 15-60 pieces a week, with sales of roughly $10,000 to $20,000 a month. Spaulding, 34, is an intense, dark-haired artist whose workday begins at noon and lasts late into the night. “After 6 p.m. the phone stops ringing and I can concentrate,” he says. He loves designing pieces and seeing them come alive. “Each one is an invention. I like lining up 12 to 20 pieces and following through with the entire process.” New designs are plentiful. What he doesn’t carve immediately he stores as sketches on film. He has more than 1000 designs in his film inventory. Spaulding is self-taught. While in high school, he tinkered at home with his father’s machinist’s and carpenter’s tools whenever he could. When he completed his tour with the U.S. Navy in 1971, he made hand-wrought cutlery from steel, brass or ivory to sell locally. But he couldn’t earn a living at it so, after several odd jobs, he became an apprentice in the workshop of Don Eaton, a jack-of-all-trades turned watch repairman and goldsmith whose custom jewelry had caught on in Sausalito. Spaulding sold his work through “Eaton’s of Sausalito” and Eaton’s second store, J. Donn, before going into business for himself. Spaulding is descended from two Portuguese families, one of which settled in the community in the 1880s. He, his mother and grandmother were both born in Sausalito. Over the years he has witnessed a migration to Sausalito that has brought extensive development and very high prices. It hasn’t changed his opinion: “it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.”

by Lesley Gertz, JCK, New York Editor
_________________________________________________

Full Article:
San Francisco’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau describes the city in gem-like terms: “the air is opalescent, the coast a bracelet of emeralds.” Small wonder that the Bay Area has captivated jewelry designers. They’ve grown inordinately fond of the area’s nearly perfect weather, relaxed outdoors lifestyle and extraordinary greenery.

Unlike most of California, San Francisco boasts a steady temperature range of 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Here plants bloom all year and the steepest streets are lined with flowerbeds. Here the choice of theater, art and sports events rivals that in any of the world’s great cities. And here several dozen jewelry designers make their homes and studios-some in the heart of San Francisco, others stretched in neighboring counties.

With a population of 712,000, San Francisco is the hub of a nine-county area with well over 5 million people, not to mention 2 ½ million visitors a year. From cable cars (probably the only national landmark you can ride) to the golden gate bridge, from the embarcadero to the Transamerica pyramid, it is a city that’s won over natives and newcomers alike.

Who are the bay area designers? Among them are creative and zany Carrie Adel, shrewd manufacturer Jon Bagley, design genius Pascal Lacroix, brilliant enamellist Colette, fashion innovator Sandra Enterline, thriving entrepreneur Randall Barrow, clever craftswoman Ann Grundler, talented designer-teacher George Mclean, up and coming designer Ann Marie Montecuollo, granulation expert Kent Riable, sensualist Raoul Sosa, Perfectionist Jerry Spaulding, technical innovator Frank Trozzo, and high-energy husband-wife team of John and Linda Weiss Edwards.

Plus the leader of the pack, Alan Revere, a jewelry designer and goldsmith who, as founder of the Revere academy of Jewelry Art, invites goldsmiths from all over the world to trop in on San Francisco.

While New York designers may make the fashion magazines more often, the sunshine designers have such consolations as outdoor sports. Bay Area people are friendly, and less aggressive.

Their area is rich in varied atmospheres, from Maiden Lane-once overrun with brothels and pothouses but now one of the city’s smartest shopping streets-to the yacht harbors of Sausalito and tree-scapes of the Sonoma valley wine country.

It’s rich in jewelry designers and design galleries, too. Unfortunately, it was impossible to include all the important jewelry designers, or all the important showcases for design talent, in this story Goph Albritz and Aleris Zeitler were based too far south; Susan Wood-Onstad and Michel Royston were too far north. Others, like Merry Renk and Florence Resnikoff, were pioneers among Bay Area designers but are less active now. And there’s superstar Laurel Burch, a Haight-Ashbury flower child who, 20 years later, heads a $12 million business making costume earrings, bracelets, and accessories. Many other talented designers, besides those profiled here, live and work in and around the San Francisco Bay, making it the artistic center that it is today.

As Frank Trozzo says, “it is the most geographically beautiful spot I’d seen in all my travels through the U.S.” Jerold Spaulding Inlay Expert

“Super clean” describes the superb inlay work of Sausalito goldsmith Jerold C. Spaulding. This fourth generation resident in a town of wealthy newcomers specializes in inlaying stones like black jade into 14k gold men’s and women’s rings and cufflinks, retailing for $320-$1,200.

He calls black jade “our forte’, a terrific stone to work with.” In double-tension stone setting, one of the methods he prefers, stone and metal are cut together for the results he wants: “very clean, without an epoxy line.” The rings themselves are dimensional and sculptural, some very smooth-edged and others more textural.

Spaulding’s second-floor Princess Court workshop is just a 20-minute drive over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. His road begins only a block from sparkling San Francisco Bay and winds it’s way steeply up among Cliffside homes. He and five workers do everything in house except pave’ diamond setting on his production line of about 150 pieces. Wedding bands are their strength, accounting for more than 60 pieces.

Spaulding began his business nearly 12 years ago with three accounts in town. At the time, he often handled such custom jobs as intricate, life like faces in gold. He did enough business that David Hurley Goldsmiths, located next door, wanted (and got) him exclusively in exchange for a minimum guaranteed purchase. In late 1980, Spaulding began redoing his designs and branching out. He now has about 50 retail store accounts, each with territorial exclusivity.

For five years, wholesale jewelers Bagley & Hotchkiss carried and sold Spaulding’s Sample line. But that arrangement has ended, partly because some customers “were mistaking our work for theirs,” Spaulding says. He now is looking for a sales representative for the Midwest and East Coast. Meanwhile, he’s wondering whether to try to expand or “keep it simple.” He’s actively thinking of selling or leasing certain designs. Output now is from 15-60 pieces a week, with sales of roughly $10,000 to $20,000 a month.

Spaulding, 34, is an intense, dark-haired artist whose workday begins at noon and lasts late into the night. “After 6 p.m. the phone stops ringing and I can concentrate,” he says.

He loves designing pieces and seeing them come alive. “Each one is an invention. I like lining up 12 to 20 pieces and following through with the entire process.”

New designs are plentiful. What he doesn’t carve immediately he stores as sketches on film. He has more than 1000 designs in his film inventory.

Spaulding is self-taught. While in high school, he tinkered at home with his father’s machinist’s and carpenter’s tools whenever he could. When he completed his tour with the U.S. Navy in 1971, he made hand-wrought cutlery from steel, brass or ivory to sell locally. But he couldn’t earn a living at it so, after several odd jobs, he became an apprentice in the workshop of Don Eaton, a jack-of-all-trades turned watch repairman and goldsmith whose custom jewelry had caught on in Sausalito. Spaulding sold his work through “Eaton’s of Sausalito” and Eaton’s second store, J. Donn, before going into business for himself.

Spaulding is descended from two Portuguese families, one of which settled in the community in the 1880s. He, his mother and grandmother were both born in Sausalito. Over the years he has witnessed a migration to Sausalito that has brought extensive development and very high prices. It hasn’t changed his opinion: “it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world.”

by Lesley Gertz, JC-K New York Editor

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