BEREA, Ky. (November 1, 2004) -- On Saturday, November 6, Robert Craig Thompson of Berea, will wrap sterling wire around semi-precious stones and pierce sheets of sterling silver to create an amazing array of jewelry from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.
Born in Heidelberg, Germany, Robert Craig Thompson was one of six children in a military family that traveled all over the United States and Germany during his early years. His father was a talented draftsman who passed his talent on to his son. Robert’s many moves as a child didn’t allow for lengthy friendships, so he became adept at keeping himself occupied by drawing and creating objects in many mediums. After graduating from North Hardin County High School, Robert attended Elizabethtown Community College for one year before transferring to Eastern Kentucky University. While walking through the art department at Eastern, Robert saw a lost- wax casting being done and became interested in art and jewelry. At EKU he studied jewelry under Sarah Capps and Tim Glotzbach focusing on a major in jewelry and metals and a minor in ceramics and painting.
Using money he made by creating and selling corn shuck flowers, Robert began purchasing jewelry equipment and tools. When he had assembled the studio equipment he needed, he moved to Berea, where he has lived and worked as an artist and jeweler for over 20 years. Since 1997 he has worked out of his studio, Dragonfly Gallery, in Old Town, Berea.
Robert Craig Thompson works in a variety of mediums including clay, metal, paper and paint.
He was one of 13 artists chosen to design one of the Berea Arts Council’s public art Hand sculptures in 2003. Much of Robert’s work is influenced by nature and the travels he has taken throughout his life. Robert has also been a regular representative traveling to Japan for 10 years as a part of Berea’s sister city program with the Yatsugatake region of Japan. When in Japan, Robert attends and demonstrates his craft at the county fair in Yatsugatake. This year he also attended a fair in Kiyosato, Japan, about 60 miles from Mt. Fuji. The culture and beauty of Japan has been the inspiration for Robert Craig’s his most recent works. In 2003 Robert was selected to design a limited edition piece in conjunction with the “All the Queen’s Horses” exhibit at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Robert Craig specializes in finely cut imagery produced using old world hand tools such as the jeweler’s saw, hand drills, pliers and other hand tools at his jewelers bench. He often uses multiple metals such as sterling silver and brass for his intricate images, portraying the landscapes of his travels. For his demonstration on November 6, Robert will show his sterling silver wire wrapping techniques using semi-precious stones and bring his jeweler’s saw to demonstrate the delicate art of piercing metal.
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is located just off Interstate 75 at exit 77 (Berea). The Center’s exhibits, shopping, and travel information areas are all open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the café from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. The Center currently features works by more than 460 artisans from all across the Commonwealth. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the Center’s web site at kentuckyartisancenter.ky.gov
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Commerce Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.