As technology has rapidly moved into the foreground of nearly every industry and aspect of life, there’s a real fear of true craftsmanship beginning to slip away. While this has become a reality in more recent years, there are still artisans out there striving to preserve centuries-old practices not only through the work they put out into the world, but also by passing down these techniques and philosophies to those coming up in the industry.

One such artist is goldsmith and jewelry maker Paul Farmer.

Paul has all the markings of a true craftsman––he’s taken the time to study every aspect of jewelry making, from gemology to goldsmithing. He’s also studied with the masters in Vincenza, Italy to learn the ancient gold fusion technique of granulation, and he’s since taught it to other artisans in the region. He handcrafts every element of the jewelry he makes and has developed a keen eye for gemstones.

Paul’s pursuit of mastery in jewelry making has resulted in truly remarkable and unique jewelry that exudes high craft.

Read on to learn more about Paul and watch the video below to see how he brings some of his rings together, from three raw metals to the final product.

When did you know art was your calling?

I was a music major in college. I played 32 instruments and I used to repair musical instruments. I owned a music store for years, and all the soldering and working with metals all transferred into the jewelry. I’ve been doing it for about 31 years now. I studied gemology, so I know how to pick really well cut stones and ones that really speak to me.

What do you love most about jewelry making?

I like helping clients. They want to express themselves through the jewelry they wear. A lot of times they come to me and have me design a piece for them. I like the artistic side because I can draw energy from the stone that I select. I know it spoke to me already, and it really captures the imagination. And then I can create from there.

How do you keep yourself challenged?

I’ve studied from five or six master goldsmiths, and so I’m constantly taking courses from other people that are also master goldsmiths. This last year, I also taught in Italy for a week in Vicenza, which is the capital of goldsmithing for Italy, and really the capital of goldsmithing in Europe. Most of the gold jewelry is made there.

How did you develop your unique style?

I started out with a basic class in jewelry, it was just silver. Then I was introduced to someone who saw my work and they said, “I need to teach you to be a goldsmith.” That was it…it just grew from there.

The technique they were using is called granulation. It’s an ancient technique. The Egyptians and Etruscans did it. So, basically as a goldsmith, I make everything from scratch. I alloy the gold using 24-karat gold, silver and a very tiny amount of copper. I actually stir the molten metal, and then I create an ingot of gold and with the ingots, I do different things like create a square rod or a flat piece. Then I roll it out with a rolling mill and create sheet and wire. It’s an additive process. I fabricate it and I keep building then I’ll trim off the excess. Then I’ll start doing the granules of gold and create the design.

What brings you back to the Celebration of Fine Art?

First of all, there’s a camaraderie among the artists here. We all learn from each other. Even though my neighbor may not be a jeweler, I still learn from their process and how they work. It’s kind of like going back to grad school and you’re in this environment where you get a lot of help from different people. I also love the patrons of the show. I’ve met some fantastic people and have some great friends from the show. I love coming back. It’s my 16th year.