Jim Kaufmann

   Jim was born June 2, 1950 in New York City, but lived most of his life in New Jersey. He became interested in collecting minerals and fossils when he was just 8, and by the time he was 12 had a fairly complete lapidary shop going in his parent's basement.
   Most of his mineral and lapidary knowledge comes from being self-taught. For many years his specialty was collecting the minerals of New Jersey, specifically those of the Paterson and Franklin/Ogdensberg areas. When he was 16, with the help of a couple of friends and his dad, he co-founded the Bergen County Mineral and Paleontology Society (BCMPS). Up until that time there were no mineral clubs in the area for under 18 year olds. This group is still going and is the only active juniors group in the area. BCMPS also, as is appropriate, has a strong lapidary group.  

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   Jim did a stint in the army, serving in both Germany and Vietnam. On discharge, he opened his first Rock Shop where he bought and sold minerals as well as lapidary work.
In the early 1980's he met Nicolai Medvedev and as the saying goes, the rest is history. Between them, they developed a particular technique and a style for intarsia. Jim supplied the lapidary shop, the equipment, and much of the lapidary experience, while Nicolai supplied an artistic knowledge of color, shape, and design.

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   Between them, they have had a great influence on the modern Lapidary Artist, with variations of their intarsia technique showing up particularly among the Native Americans of the Southwest.
   The two men have since gone their own ways, each developing his unique style signature. Each occasionally turns up at AGTA Cutting Edge competitions, usually winning some level of the competition for his intarsia work.

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   In 1997, Jim was inducted into the National Rockhound & Lapidary Hall of Fame. He now teaches his intarsia technique at his studio in Sedona, Arizona where he also has his own gallery. Through this venue, Jim has the freedom to express his intarsia design style where his spirit and muse lead him.

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