Preserving cultural heritage

Dan Balk teaches private jewelry classes in his professional jewelry studio in Tampa Florida.
Teaching private jewelry classes from my studio in Tampa Florida.

At my bench, one one one, students can learn the basics of jewellery fabrication including piercing, soldering, and stone setting. These traditional techniques and art they create are thousands of years old, culturally significant and in todays world of computer printed and machine produced jewellry, are in jeopardy of being lost. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of artists drawn to the medium, increasing the desire to learn silversmithing and goldsmithing techniques. Artistically adventurous people come from all over the country to spend time at my bench and learn a foundation in this vast medium. Students are often surprised at the amount of time, labor and care that goes into the fabrication of a single piece of jewelry. I love sharing what I do with people, not only because I am passionate about the art I create, but also because we have an obligation as artisans to share our accumulated knowledge with successive generations of craftspeople.

My current identity

Dan Balk designer goldsmith working at his jewelers bench
Dan Balk working in his studio at his jewelers bench.

I am a goldsmith, designer, artist, teacher, and father. I design and fabricate every piece of jewelry from raw materials in my studio in Tampa, Florida. Each piece is one of a kind, designed by me. I create my own sterling silver, 18K, and 14K alloys that I fashion, mill, forge, fuse, and braze into miniature sculptures for personal adornment. I select and set each stone, often performing my own lapidary work on select stones. I have complete contact and artistic connection with each piece of fine art jewelry from concept to collection.

Home bound

It was exciting to finally get to take the bus home. After the auction, Nataly went to work trying to convert the title of the vehicle from a bus to a motor home. This was necessary in order for us to insure the vehicle and drive it home. Once the motorhome was insured, we went to get our new family member. The boys really loved meeting her, and after a short ( best two out of three) rock paper scissor, it was decided that Dan would drive Thomasita home. So ready to start this adventure!

Auction Day

 

Auction Day, Nataly rescues Thomasita the Bus.
In the beginning:
After looking at an uncountable number of busses from dealers and private sellers, we decided to take our chances at auction. A special thank you to our friend, David Hercules, an expert mechanic who looked at many of them with us.

Follow my blog for updates. Comment below.

Welcome

Just getting this blog set up. I am an artist, goldsmith, and designer. I enjoy working with noble metals like gold and silver. I like designing with precious gemstones. There is a connection between artists and the materials they choose to work with. It is humbling to work with these geological wonders that have been formed by the earth over millions of years….