Get to Know
Hi, I'm John Gillespie and I appreciate you visiting my studio. I am from Orlando, Florida and have been creating artisan jewelry on a part-time basis since early 2003. In 2011 my work began to get noticed more locally here in Orlando so I decided it was time to work full time as an artisan jeweler. Along the path to becoming a full time artisan jeweler I've gone to college at Clemson University where I've received a Bachelors of Science in Geology in 2010. One of my passions while at Clemson was the study of mineralogy which gave me a further appreciation of gemstones, minerals, and rocks that come from within the earth; this appreciation led me to understand how truly unique many of the semi-precious gemstones are that are used in my jewelry designs.
The essence of artisan jewelry is simple in the fact that each piece is designed and individually handcrafted by the artist. This is what makes each work in my collection so unique and truly one of a kind! Personally my enjoyment in creating jewelry comes from looking at a bunch of loose semi-precious gemstones and / or raw materials and from that creating a timeless work or art.
So my story about what attracted me to creating jewelry is fairly simple. In the early to mid 1990's I began collecting gemstones, minerals, and rocks for their sheer beauty only to learn a short time later than many of the things in my collection also have some metaphysical properties associated with them. Then as life progressed in the early 2000's I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a crystal conference in Burlington, Vermont. It was during this conference that I had the visions to create jewelry as I saw the beautiful works that others had created and the extraordinary prices that many of the vendors were charging for their jewelry. So on my trip back to Orlando, I decided to look into creating artisan jewelry that would be affordable to everyone and to include works in my collection that have metaphysical meanings to those that are interested in that subject matter.
Therefore, in the summer of 2003 I began creating jewelry for myself and some close friends as gifts. Then in 2004 my first break came along when a friends coworker that saw one of my pieces asked me to create a custom necklace for her. With this success I got more requests for custom work as regular sales of my everyday designs, so I was on my way to establishing myself as an artisan jewelry designer.
The techniques incorporated into my pieces such as wire wrapping, embossing, and metalwork are all done by hand. Typically, when starting a new design I don't always have a preconceived idea of what the finished piece will become. However, during the creation process I keep the following three standards in mind throughout the creation of all my pieces: (1) superior quality, (2) beauty, and (3) uniqueness. Throughout the designs in my collection I try to incorporate limited quantities of wearable jewelry along with a few one of a kind pieces.
Within my designs I use an abundance of natural semi-precious gemstones, Swarovski Crystal, Czech Glass, Porcelain Beads, Lampwork Glass, and many other beads. Some of my favorite natural stones to work with are quartz (all varieties), amethyst, jade, serpentine, peridot, aquamarine, fluorite, jasper, agates, and labradorite. The metals included in my designs include sterling silver, pewter, sterling silver filled, as well as some sterling silver plated and gold plated components. As sterling silver is my metal of choice I have started to incorporate some very high quality plated items into my designs to bring the cost down so what some people would consider a high-end piece can become an affordable piece to more people. Other metals that I use occasionally in my works include copper and brass.
I love to expand my jewelry designing abilities and am constantly keeping abreast of the latest trends an techniques n the industry. To this end I enjoy taking classes on wire wrapping, metalwork, and other techniques that I find interesting to keep my work constantly evolving. As my work evolves I will be posting new pieces in the studio weekly.
Currently, I have been given the opportunity to have a small display at a local salon in Longwood, Florida. My future goals are to have a booth at some of the local art and craft shows in the fall of 2012 and moving forward into 2013.
My goal is to have an eclectic catalog of designs that everyone can connect with. So whether you like very elegant jewelry, a simple statement piece, or a more natural everyday piece, I hope that you'll find something here that may catch your eye. A handmade bracelet, pair of earrings, or a necklace can make a great gift for a friend or loved one, but especially for yourself. I also welcome custom requests, if you see something that catches your eye but would like it slightly different please don't hesitate to contact me as I'll be glad to alter the design to meet your request.