I started making jewelry in 1968 in Cambridge, Mass. and learned production techniques at Designers 3, a boutique in Harvard Square run by Allen Keuney. After 1½ years, another goldsmith and I came to California to strike out on our own. We began our store/workshop, known as Robertson/Clarkson in May, 1969. Colin Robertson taught me a great deal about jewelry making, about style, design and craftsmanship, but we split our partnership in 1970. I stayed on as The Marshall Jeweler, a business that continued on a small but successful scale until I moved operations to Point Reyes Station in 1992. Point Reyes Jeweler has been in operation since that time.
My early training in Cambridge was a paid position—I was given a living wage ($2/hr. to start!) to learn my trade. I have always been very grateful for that jump start in my career, and I have passed my knowledge along freely. I have trained many people over the course of the quarter century I’ve been doing jewelry work, and I would like to keep on training people, giving them the start that was given to me. I’m happy to say that several of the people I’ve trained have gone on to become successful and self-supporting jewelers.
I love making jewelry. I find it remarkable that after 25 years of this craft, I still hurry to get to work and I stay a little later than I intend, although now, I have a young daughter whose life I don’t want to miss, so I do tear myself away from the bench.
Curiosity and experimentation have been my best teachers, although I have been helped greatly by certain books, friends’ assistance, and courses at the Revere Academy in San Francisco. I intend to keep experimenting and learning.
When I started creating jewelry in ‘69, I really had no clue that I was beginning a career, but that was a creation forged day by day, and polished slowly over a quarter century. I feel very lucky indeed.