[New Gallery] Ed Retherford

Artist: Ed Retherford
Orchid Gallery: http://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/diamondeddy.htm

My name is Ed Retherford, and I am completely self taught in jewelry
repair, design, and construction, as well as watch repair, and have
been at the bench since I was 12 years old (now 49). My wife and I
have a small mom and pop sized store in Kokomo Indiana for the last
20 years.

Attached is a single picture with a set of Monopoly tokens that I
made for myself. I handcarved all the wax models for each piece,
then had Larry Paul Casting cast them all in solid 18k gold for the
tokens, and sterling silver for the houses and hotels. To the best
of my knowledge there is no other 18k set in the world. I have found
that Henry Dunhils of Londonhad a German goldsmith makea 9k set in
the 1930’s, but hasnt been seen since anunknown buyer took delivery
at the time of completion. Also, a jeweler in Florida made a set in
14k a few years back, and I believe that he still has possesion.
There are actually 6 houses and 6 hotels, but I only placed 1 of
each in the photo. After getting the raw castings back from LP, then
I hand finished each piece. This set of tokens is modeled after a
real set from the late 1930’s that my uncle gave me. It would have
been much simpler to make rubber molds from the original tokens, but
that would be cheating wouldn’t it now? Instead, I chose to carve
them over the course of a couple years, in my spare time from my
busy retail shop. I made slight differences in the detail of each
piece from the original tokens so that I canshow that I waxed these
rather than made rubber molds from the originals.

For instance, I placed a different style of hat on the horse jockey,
and shingles on the roofs of the houses and hotels, and varied the
wrinkles in the leather of the boot. But I made sure that the
details would be imperceptible unless compared side by side with the
original pieces. Someday when I get a little spare time again, I
plan on setting diamonds for headlights and hubcaps on the car, and
in the dimples of the thimble, and maybe filling the wheelbarrow
with diamonds and colored stone melee. Incidentally, I am looking
for suggestions on a way to set the stones into the wheelbarrow so
that they maintain a piled or jumbled appearance but still remain
stable. I have even acquired all the materials for making a playing
board in sterling and matching walnut, but just cant seem to find
the time to get it started. The walnut bases for each token were
made by a kindly old retired gentleman who is a customer in my
store, who simply wanted to be a part of this project. His quality
woodworking abilities have been greatly appreciated. Photography and
photo editing done by myself.

Ed in Kokomo

Incidentally, I am looking for suggestions on a way to set the
stones into the wheelbarrow so that they maintain a piled or
jumbled appearance but still remain stable. 

How about different sizes and lengths of tubing soldered at angles
to the bottom of the wheelbarrow? You could then set stones in the
tubes or use the tubing to support settings for your “rocks”.

The set is gorgeous. Good job!

Susannah Page-Garcia
Moonshine Metal Creations
Happy Birth Day Sarah! March 3, 2006.

That sounds like a good possibility that you have suggested,
Susannah. I’ll try that on some scrap first and see if I get the
effect that I am looking for. I’ve pondered this for a while, but
honestly havent taken any action due to lack of time to work on my
own stuff anymore. My wife jokes that if she needs any watch or
jewelry work done, is there anyone I recommend to do it, cause she
knows that it will be forever before I get to it.

Ed in Kokomo



Very nice work on the Monopoly pieces. Sorry if this bursts your
bubble, but there is another set of solid 18k pieces which I saw at
the Smithsonian last year. In fact, they have an entire Monopoly
game set with precious stones as well. Here is some info I found on
their web site (you can also view a photo, though not a very clear
pic as it’s encased in glass).

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Everyday Fantasies:
The Jeweled Art of Sidney Mobell

Monopoly Game

It’s a Monopoly set fit for a king! Created in 1988, this favorite
game comes to life in gold and gems. The game includes a full-size
23k gold-plated board with tokens, hotels, houses, and dice done in
solid 18k yellow gold with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. The game
is set with 165 gemstones weighing a total of 51.21cts.


Bonnie Cooper