Stick to your Metals
The Jeweler's Voices series is an offering from successful jewelers to aspiring jewelers, in which they impart their hard-earned advice and insight.
"I guess if I could point to one thiinng that has made it possible for me to be successful doing what I love to do, it's that I never give up. I just don't quit. I never put it all away and go home and forget about it. To be self-employed — especially in something like this where you're having to make and market and do so many other things — you really have to live it. It has to be your whole life. You're going to continuously run into things that will try and derail you, whether it's financial, or outside stuff, or you didn't get into a certain show, or whatever it is. But you cannot stop. That's the biggest single thing. You can't stop, and you can't say,
"Gosh, I can't do that." You have to pick a thing and just go for it, and you keep working it, and when you fall down you get up, and eventually you get some traction and it all starts to work for you. I don't know anybody that has been successful that has been an overnight success. All the jewelers and artists that I know have put their whole body, mind, and soul into it, and that's really what it takes. You just can't give up. Ever."
Jim's love of craft started in his grandmother's home. His grandmother was a weaver and furniture maker who inspired Jim to use his creative talents. Jim has been making jewelry for over 30 years. Though he learned jewelry basics in high school he has continued to make jewelry and expand his knowledge all of his adult life.
Jim has always been drawn to the beauty and workmanship of Japanese craft. Once he saw mokume in the early 1980s he knew he would make mokume. He pioneered a technique for making electric kiln-fired mokume gane and in 1991 he established James Binnion Metal Arts (JBMA), working exclusively in mokume. He was also an early pioneer on the web and has had his website up since 1996. He is constantly expanding his knowledge of metals and innovating in his studio.