I received a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1959. The early
part of my engineering career was spent designing cabinets and
hardware for main frame computers. The company I worked for
continually hired more people to do the same work which gave each of
us less work to do.
I have always had creative hobbies. In 1973 I had a 6 day course in
lost wax casting. I started creating Southwest jewelery as a hobby.
I was very successful. Many time I thought about becoming a full time
silversmith but the cost of family insurance was prohibitive so I
continued being an Engineer.
In 1975 I was asked by my Computer Company to organize another arts
and crafts show for family day. It was the second show I set up for
the company. I was pulled from all my engineering responsibility
while I set up the show. About that time the company had a major lay
off and guess what. I was gone but hey the show went off very well.
I went to work for a company as a control system engineer designing
control systems for process plants. Great job. I then went to work at
the Palo Verde Nuclear plant while it was under construction. I
transferred to the company responsible for running the plant. In 1982
I was asked to investigate the ability of several safety valves to
operate under an accident condition. I found they probably would not
operate as required under an accident condition. The operating
company didn’t want to hear my concern, and the NRC was breathing
down my neck. I decided I did not want to get ulcers so I quit. Best
day of my life.
I had been creating Southwest art as a hobby while I worked as an
engineer. After I left Palo Verde it was easy to become a full time
Southwest jewelry and silver pottery artist. My wife works and has
insurance to cover both of us.
I am now 71 and my business has returned to being a hobby.