Chuck Bruce has a background in interior design and fashion merchandising, as well as a longtime interest in antiques and period buildings. That’s not the way most jewelry designers begin their careers, and most don’t specialize in lapidary inlay work.
Chuck’s career sparked when his partner took a glass-blowing class at the Indianapolis Arts Center and urged him to take some kind of class, too. This Indiana Artisan chose a class in silver.
“I do all the silverwork, stone cutting, grinding, shaping, and polishing in a very streamline look of work,” Chuck explains. “I try to find unique, unknown stones and let them speak for themselves. Mother Nature makes some beautiful art.”
He prefers to use unusual or unique gems and minerals including local minerals, geodes and fossils. To reveal a stone’s essence, Chuck identifies its best properties, whether it is the flash, color, texture, or drama. Making those properties work within an envelope of sterling silver, occasionally gold, can be challenging.
The payoff, he says, is becoming part of the lives of everyone who wears his jewelry.
He didn’t fully understand the impact of his work until he heard a story from a client. Her husband had commissioned Chuck to create a bracelet for her. When the man was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor, the wife told Chuck she would treasure and value the bracelet for the rest of her life.
“Creating art that has that type of impact on someone’s life means so much to me,” Chuck says. “Art, and especially jewelry, is very personal to most people.”
His Hoosier heritage makes him proud. “I love being referred to as a regional artist, born and raised in Indiana, and truly being part of the local artist community,” he says.
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