THE W GALLERY FEATURE ARTIST
Jewelry Designer: Eldon Kohler
Location: Painesville, Ohio U.S.A.
Experience: 6 Years
Materials: Gold, Silver, Shakudo, Shibiuchi and Custom Cut Gemstones
Influences: Japanese Arts and Aesthetics - Prints, Architecture, Garden Design, Wood Blocks and More.
As you watch Eldon, he masterfully sculpts away at the metal using tagane chisels, an ancient Japanese tool, once used to create samurai sword handles and sheaths. A marriage of metal takes place in a myriad of ways in the studio. Each piece is crafted carefully and creatively using hand techniques employed by the Japanese for hundreds of years. However, this creativity did not come easily, nor was he born with it. In his early years, Eldon met with an accident that changed his life. Ever since then, artistic creativity has flowed through his hands in the most masterful and exquisite fashion. It began with the art of Japanese bonsai in early high school; twisting, pruning, shaping, and styling trees in delicate containers. This sense of Japanese aesthetics he then brought into his love of transforming metal, as he says, “make something from nothing.”
As the gold, silver and copper alloys consummate under his skillful hands, he creates one of a kind pieces, no other piece will be like the one previously made. His subjects range from the simplest to the most profound designs. He shapes, carves, and configures the metal and the stones he uses, working it as easily as dough, into ornately crafted adornments. Each of his compositions are not only warm and alive, but also deceivingly three-dimensional.
From the beginning, he found the need to source and cut his own gemstones, and has become an accomplished lapidarist and collector of materials from around the world. His deep love for Japanese art and aesthetics has led to his studies of Japanese metalworking under friend and teacher Patrick Hastings.
All this work takes place in his studio, from alloying the metals, to its immaculate finish work; Eldon’s adept hands delegate the metals into roles to play with modern Western tools, but at the same time staying true to the aesthetics of this ancient art form. His work is a symbiotic relationship of the old and the new.
Eldon currently lives in Ohio with his wife and three children, where he pursues his love of all things art and studying the native flora and fauna. His artistic drive does not end with jewelry; he sculpts, draws, and writes. He entwines the creativity of his mind through his hands.
Eldon’s focus on the future is clear; he plans to instruct others in his unique approach to metal art while venturing into new levels of fine jewelry, “it’s about the work”.
Stop by The W Gallery to view some of Eldon's unique pieces or check out his feature items in our online store.