Chris Nelson, Goldsmith, is an indie Colorado metals artist who creates solely one of a kind, hand-fabricated art jewelry in high-karat golds, silver and iron. The work is created in the most conscientious and low tech manner possible utilizing 95% recycled post-consumer metals and conflict free stones, with minimal carbon footprints.
The permanence of metals has always intrigued me since my early boyhood. A disastrous high school metalshop class where gas and arc welding were not my forte, led to wax carving and casting of precious metals in organic shapes, but the experience was short-lived due to the necessity to support my young family.
Fifteen years as a journeyman carpenter and builder gave me the skills, knowledge and hands-on experience to intuitively appreciate the aesthetics of volume, space, and relationship of structural elements to one another.
Working as a project manager for over a decade in an industry that neither honored nor respected the individuals nor the materials we worked with, led me to a decision to retire and go sailing. But instead of a boat I somehow acquired a burn-out oven and a jewelry tool catalog...thus beginning a whole new chapter.
Since 2001, I have rediscovered the greatest passion of my life..working in metals. Taking classes from world renowned metalsmiths, practicing with a multitude of tools, stretching the limits of the metals and my own person skills, and looking forward to creating the next new piece has become all consuming.
My work is a study in contrasts. Iron with high karat gold. Contemporary yet primal. Earthy and elegant. Simple while bold. Black and gold. The heavens and the earth. Personal but universal.
I continually analyze my business practices and personal ethics, and not base my creations on the easiest, cheapest or highest profit margin. I consciously choose to research and source my metals from suppliers offering post-consumer recycled fine gold and silver. I choose to purchase gemstones from dealers of long standing who solely represent certified conflict-free stones. I choose to alloy and extrude my own precious metals in-house to ensure purity and non-toxic content. I choose to continue to explore methods of working as low-tech as possible, while researching and developing safer and more environmentally friendly procedures to create my art jewelry.
My studio uses primarily off-peak electricity for heating and production needs. All water used in the studio is hand carried in reusable containers, and is minimal. Few toxic solutions are used and are neutralized before safe disposal.