May Artist Interview – Roger Rimel

I came across Roger Rimel through Crafthaus and his work is fabulous!  I’m sure you can see how I’m attracted to it.  He doesn’t have a website, but you can find him online at Crafthaus and his work can be seen at P.S. Gallery in Columbia, MO; Jane Sauer Gallery in Santa Fe, NM; and Craft Alliance in St. Louis, MO.
Moonstone Ring ©Roger Rimel moonstone, 14k gold, brown diamonds, sterling, patina

How did you get started in your craft? (using your media)

I began self taught after graduating college with an art education degree. This led to a part time sabbatical replacement teaching jewelry at a high school ,where I taught myself enough to be hired at a family owned guild style jeweler where I apprenticed for four years. I learned the techniques of a goldsmith bench jeweler,which have provide me with a career. In addition I have always maintained a studio where I have pursued work in a more artistic direction which I have promoted in galleries,  fairs and exhibits.

Lapis Cuff ©Roger Rimel lapis, yellow diamond, sterling,fused gold on sterling

What has been inspiring/influencing your work lately?

Aerial views of agriculture, landscape and human constructions have driven my work. Similarly, other forms of change,such as rust, broken rock faces, patched cloth has informed my work.

Who are your favorite artists in your field?

Pat Telesco, Michael Zobel, Pat Flynn

What is your favorite customer quote or story?

I once set some diamonds in a chalice. It was commissioned by the family of a diseased priest. I received a letter of thanks from the customer addressed to Roger Rimel: Goldsmith and the card inside read “Thank you, whenever this chalice is used in ceremony you will be part of the prayer.” It felt as though I was working in the time of guilds when craftsmen were respected and religious patrons were common. It was also a very nice sentiment and the card is framed in my studio.

Lapis Neckpiece ©Roger Rimel Sterling, 14k gold, fused gold on sterling, diamond, yellow sapphires, kyanite, hammered, patina,formed. Kyanite passes through center to create toggle clasp

What is your favorite piece of art or fine craft that you own?

I own a very early Heikki Seppa neck piece before he developed the anticlastic vocabulary. I traded a neckpiece of mine to friend who managed a gallery where Heikki was selling his work. He had given it to her as an apology for hastily leaving a large inventory of work with no description or pricing.