Vern McCullough

   Vern was born in Hettenger County, North Dakota on March 3, 1920. In 1937, he worked for the Bureau of Reclamation on the Fort Peck Dam project in Montana. In 1940, he moved to Washington and returned to school. In June 1941, he went to work at the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, California. He spent 2 ½ years building "Liberty Ships" and was in charge of outfitting the docks. He joined the Marines in 1943 serving in the Pacific and spent 11 months in Japan after the war.

. . . . . . .

   After the service, he returned to California and worked in various construction jobs until he joined the Aladdin Heating Company, where he remained for 33 years. In 1949, he married Rose and they had three children.
   After his wife died in 1979, Vern took up the art of lapidary. When he retired in 1982, he began to devote most of his time to all the many disciplines of this field. He taught silver fabrication for 20 years, was schooled in the lost wax process and taught channel work.

. . . . . . .

   In 1985, as a member of the Castro Valley Mineral & Gem Society, he began to create commessi (intarsias). He built and maintained the various pieces of sophisticated machinery necessary for this unique art form. Some of the Society's equipment are one of a kind machines like an improved version of the Fab-U-Lap that Vern created. He began teaching intarsia to several enthusiastic students in 1989.
   Vern created a type of faceting machine with which he made very large gemstone versions of all the Platonic solids. He also has won American and California Federation Trophies for both spheres and intarsia.
   Although Vern has lost most of his eyesight, he still continues to exhibit, teach and inspire his students in the Fine Art of the Commesso di pietre dure e tenere.

. . . . . . .

Previous - Next

back to top

Back to Biographies G - M