Daniel Lopacki

   "Daniel (Danny) Lopacki quit a very good job as a machinist in 1978 to start his career as a Lapidary and Jeweler, most of the people he knew thought he was crazy but over the past 32 years he has proven he made a pretty good decision in his career change.

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   "The first major love in lapidary was and still is fine mosaic work, Danny's earliest work was stone overlay on shell, his choice of a base shell is the Glycymeris, this shell is basically a very thick clam shaped shell. After doing a series of shells and finding that no one was willing to pay enough money for the work involved he started to make items in silver that he could continue to do his mosaic in.

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   Through the early 1980's he started to have quite a following and gained some notoriety for his skills in both lapidary and well as metal smithing. In 1984 he was asked to be one of the jewelry judges at the Intertribal Indian Ceremonial held annually in Gallup, NM, this lead to being a judge again for the following three years, this was an early feather in his cap as the jewelry entered in the ceremonial included work by some of the top Indian jewelers working at that time, many of the jewelers are still at it to this day.

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   In 1987 Danny was asked to become involved in a venture in China setting up a turquoise cutting shop and picking high grade turquoise rough for export to the U.S. As he needed a break from jewelry he said yes. Over the next two years he spent nine months in China mostly running down new sources for their turquoise. Becoming somewhat disillusioned with how things were working out in his China endeavors and having the desire to get back to the bench Danny quit all involvement in China and got back to work.

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   During his time in China Danny had been approached by a gallery owner in Santa Fe, NM to please start making jewelry again so they could market it through their gallery, this was an opportunity to explore new avenues in his creativity which blossomed during this time period. From high end work in silver to major statements in high karat gold, new creations were being produced as soon as the prior piece was finished. From 1990 through roughly 2000 Danny made some of his finest work to date.
   Because of his Chinese connections in the mid nineties because it seemed like a good thing to do Danny started a diamond tooling company directed toward the lapidary and jeweler, this turned out to be both good and bad, the good the new company took off and continued to grow, the bad, the more the new company grew to less time allowed at the bench. In 2001 in a major move to a new location, the studio went into storage, where it remained for nine years. At the time of this writing a new studio is being built (2010) and Danny is planning to divest his interests in the diamond tool business and get back to the thing he loves most ....... Making beautiful things."

You can see more of Daniel's work on his website: http://www.lopacki.com/art/.

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