Conrad Grundke

   Conrad (Connie) Grundke was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 27, 1931. He spent four years in the US Navy aboard various destroyers during the Korean conflict. Most of his working life was spent with IBM as an engineer working for 10 years in Evanston, Illinois and the last 20 years in San Jose, Calif. He retired in 1986 after 30 years with IBM.

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   He started working in lapidary about 1976 after visiting his father, William Grundke, who lived in Laguna Hills, Calif., and who was deeply involved in the commesso (intarsia) art form at this time. Connie continued his lapidary work as an avocation by creating jewelry and silversmithing until he retired and moved to Laguna Hills where he joined his father. Connie completed his first commesso in July 1990 under the supervision of his father. Since then he has created several commessi, which have been exhibited throughout the state and have won awards in both local and American Federation Shows.

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   In 1994, Connie was asked to take over the Saddleback College Emeritus Classes in Lapidary and Intarsia due to the ill health of the current instructor, Russ Hind. Since then, Connie has expanded the realm of knowledge of both local students and rockhounds in the area through lectures, teaching, and exhibiting this art form and once again has made the "Grundke" name synonymous with unique and beautiful fine art.

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