Monday, September 20, 2010

Meet John From Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry

Tell us your name and the name of your studio(s) and how or why you chose it.

John Atwell Rasmussen

Shop name – Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry – Inherently obvious why the shop is so named; but it also represents what I do. Firstly, lapidary cutting stones from rough; then what do you do with the stones? Make Jewelry! My ID on Artfire is “gemlover” which also reflects my passion. I have collected minerals and rocks for almost all my life; studied Geology in college; then turned to Gemology and Jewelry Making to make use of my interest in minerals (gems).

How long have you been creating jewelry and how did you start?

I have been cutting stones and fashioning jewelry since the beginning of 2008. I started my trek when my wife purchased a parcel of gems from a well known television vendor of gems and jewelry. She gave me the parcel and said: “You are a geologist, what are these?” So I had to dust off my mineralogy and optical mineralogy knowledge, purchased the instruments and microscope for identifying gems and started identifying the stones. I started studying Gemology online with the International Gem Society where I have passed the knowledge examination and next have to take and pass the practical examination for the Professional Gemologist designation. Also later took courses from the Gemological Institute of America and have earned the title of “Accredited Jewelry Professional.”

Did your jewelry making evolve from another craft?

The two “crafts” that I have morphed into Jewelry Design and Fabrication would be lapidary and gemology.

What is your favorite material to use and why? Do you use other materials?

My favorite material to use would be silver. I work with cabochon and faceted stones, but primarily with silver. Copper and Brass are alternative metals that I use. I would love to work in gold, but the current price precludes that.

What is your favorite item in your store or what is your favorite type of item to create?

My favorite item that is in my store would be the faceted labradorite stone wrapped in sterling silver. I have developed a passion recently to the fabrication of rings from sheet and wire metal

What or who ( ie: other artists, nature etc. ) inspire you the most?

Local artists in Western South Carolina – Barbara Green (Green Top Jewelry) (bead work); Carol Penry (who does not have a shop) (wire wrapping) and Bill Wetzel (no shop) (scrimshaw; cabbing and faceting).

Tell us something interesting or unique about you or your shop.

I am a geologist (Bachelor's and Master's degrees) and I have taken that knowledge and applied it to gemstones and jewelry fabrication. I have worked for the past 30 years as a paramedic providing prehospital medical care to the sick and

What advice or tip would you give to other artists?

Do not be afraid to try something new or unique. All of us must continue to expand our knowledge and skill base, or we will stagnate and our muse will die.

Where can you be found around the web?





  1. Love the stones! How interesting that you are a paramedic, how different your "day" job is from your creative job. And I have to say thank you, not just to you but to all the people who do the kind of work you do!

  2. Time difference between then and now. I retired from EMS in January 2011. Now I let the State of South Carolina retirement system pay me to make jewelry and cut stones.