James Binnion Metal Arts
Jim has been making jewelry for over 30 years. He first learned the basics of fabrication and lost wax casting in high school, but his love of crafts started much earlier. His grandmother, a weaver and furniture maker, often had craft projects in her home that she encouraged her young grandson to participate in. She was a great influence on Jim, inspiring him to use his creative talents and encouraging him in his endeavors. Jim had no idea this early influence would lead to a love of designing and fabricating jewelry.
Though Jim has no formal degree in art he has spent the majority of his adult life reading, studying and experimenting in the metal arts. His 9 years as an electronics technician in the US Navy Submarine Service and 13 years as an electronics engineer with SRI developed his analytic and problem-solving skills, serving him well as he refined his mokume gane technique. He has developed both a theoretical and practical knowledge of precious metals metallurgy.
Jim has always been drawn to the beauty and superb workmanship of Japanese craft. Once he saw work done in mokume gane with its wonderful patterns and colors he knew that he wanted to learn how to make mokume. Jim pioneered the technique for making electric kiln fired mokume gane. He established James Binnion Metal Arts in 1991 working exclusively in mokume gane and continues to explore and refine techniques for making this rare Japanese lamination process.
Jim’s designs reflect the two major, often conflicting aspects of his personality: the engineer and the artist. These are reflected in the rigorous requirements to successfully laminate the mokume gane and the fluid patterns carved in its surface. The finished designs combine hard geometric framework with soft and fluid internal forms and patterns. He enjoys working with the metal, pushing the limits of which metals will beautifully work together in mokume.
In addition to his studio work, Jim freely shares his knowledge in workshops, classes, publications and online forums. He has presented papers on mokume at the prestigious Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology, receiving awards for his contributions in 2003 and 2006.
Contact: Jim or Terry Binnion
PO Box 31458
Bellingham WA 98228