Steve Walters

   "A biography for someone like myself in the line of work that I do is going to seem rather short. Almost everyone who works with gemstones in this country is by necessity self taught. There is no formal education for doing the small-scale gemstone sculptors that I do. So I don't have a history of art schools that I've attended. Or any list of artists that I've worked under. My education in small scale sculptures started when I joined a jewelry manufacturer based in Beverly Hills, CA doing simple but high production gemstone designs that were used in the company's jewelry line. I started here not long after high school in the early 70's and worked with them for 10 years or so, learning how to be very productive, and coming to understand the unique nature of gemstones. This wasn't the most exciting work, but it made it possible for me to go on and succeed as an independent gemstone artist, when there were maybe 5 of us in the whole world doing this kind of work. Being able to come up with an original design, executing it well, and doing it quickly is what all those years of production work allowed me to do.

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   I did spend a few years setting up and producing an ever-changing line of gemstone carvings for my parent's company, Craftstones, located in Ramona, CA. But this was just part of my evolution in working with gemstones. I advanced in my designing, and finally realized that I had to move out on my own in order to really be able to push myself the way I needed to.
   So in the mid eighties, I started doing one of kind gemstone carvings, some designed as small-scale sculptures, but most designed as one of kind pieces to be used in jewelry.

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   I was most inspired by the German gemstone sculpture Dieter Lorenz. His soft, flowing sculpture pieces in Agates really hit a nerve inside me when I first became aware of them in the early eighties, and I knew that this is the work that I wanted to do. Coming into this carving world when I did meant that I was able to find my own style of carving design without worrying too much about crossing over into other peoples styles. Since there were only about 5-6 of us then, that wasn't too hard. This is not the case today.
   My carvings have won several AGTA Cutting Edge awards, as well as being used in 8 winning AGTA Spectrum Jewelry awards."

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