Former geologist, former ceramic engineer for the US Army, currently full-time Human Factors engineer for US Army. Silversmithing kept me in grad school but fell by the wayside for years. Began again with beading, and have JUST LAST MONTH gotten back into smithing, very gradually. Bead projects are still easier to pick up and put down around the requirements of the job, house maintenance, and all those other intrusive aspects of life. My jewelry philosophy stems from my geology background: I stick pretty much to natural materials (OK - the pearls are enhanced, but they're NOT mother-of-pearl coatings on glass) and try to emphasize to customers and those who may see my exhibits that it's Mother Nature who is the real artist. Lately I've been using seed pods which have been sent back from Brazil by my daughter. These projects take a long time because I don't find it simple to design around natural forms while maintaining their integrity, but theyre so neat I can't resist. Although I must say - people frequently comment that my beaded pieces are not just more of the same either.