Press: Jerry Spaulding Design

Break Through Designers: Jerry Spaulding By Janet Volkman, JQ Magazine

“A goldsmith for many years, Jerry Spaulding, of Northern California, has become a pioneer in the use of titanium in wedding bands. A passionate cyclist, he became intrigued with the lightweight yet highly durable materials developed for racing bicycles. Turning to jewelry, he worked to combine classic and high-tech elements. Men’s wedding bands were a natural, because men insist upon lightness and comfort, as well as style, in a piece of jewelry, especially one they wear every day. Today, Spaulding’s wedding band collection adds one more ingredient: beauty. His extensive lines artfully combine titanium with gold, diamonds or carbon fiber. They, like the materials used to make them, are both forward-looking and classic at the same time. And oh, by the way, each band is made entirely by hand, without molds or automation of any kind”.

How did you get involved in design?
JS: I’ve been drawing, stylizing and sculpting since I was seven years old, which eventually led to my apprenticeship as a goldsmith back in the seventies.

What is your favorite design?
JS: Of all the designs I have done, my very favorites are lady’s collars that I drew up several years ago and that are still on the drawing board.

What are you working on right now?
JS: Numerous projects, including custom orders, stock orders for retail accounts along with promotional and sales brochures for the stores and galleries I supply. For both professional purposes as well as entertainment, I’ve been enjoying building my own computers.

What are your favorite materials?
JS: I’ve always been drawn to fine metals even of an industrial nature, but nearly everything I make starts out with a drafting pencil on paper so I would have to include graphic media.

What attracts you to a particular stone or metal?
JS: I’d say my attractions are at two extremes: either a special sense of permanence and strength or dynamism on one extreme, to an unreal or seemingly impossible delicacy or play of color that only nature could create on the other.

Who or what are major influences in your work?
JS: My currently line stemmed from my passion for both high performance motorcycling and bicycling components, and it was through building my cross-country racer that my interest in titanium and precision machining was stimulated. Before that, design was an opportunity to project a favored thought, feeling, or idea in three-dimensions.

Do you have a mentor?
JS: That would be my first employer, J. Don Eaton, and his manager at the time, David Hurley, who I’d known from high school and who helped me to get my first job and also assisted me while I learned wax modeling. One of the designer-craftsman I have most looked up to historically is Rene’ Lalique, as I feel he did among the most beautifully rendered jewelry pieces ever made.

If your work could be shown anywhere, where would you like it to be shown?
JS: I’d love to see it on the dynamic people of our time: public figures and film stars as well as sports figures and action heroes. Since my current line, though, is primarily a men’s line, I’d have to revert to some of my older work to do justice to the ladies I admire.

How would you describe yourself as a designer?
JS: Versatile, inventive, and prolific. I’ve always been pretty independent and self-motivated. I’m more inclined to initiate a trend than to follow one. One thing I might add is that I am conscientious and considerate of other designers’ efforts and take special care not to overlap design ideas wherever possible.

Where do you picture yourself five years from now?
JS: I have tooled up to work on a considerably larger scale than I’m working now, and I would very much like to pursue free standing sculptural work of a somewhat utilitarian nature, such as hollowware, and architectural embellishments. I’d like to see the business end of things running themselves to a much greater degree so that I might engage more in many of my other interests that indirectly benefit my work in fine jewelry, such as computer graphics, photography, and CAD/CAM. I’d also like time to tour the country by motorcycle both for the pleasure of the ride and to meet many of the people I’ve worked with.