Featured MCA Member: Boyd Johnson
Based in a Central Maine farmhouse, Boyd Johnson creates modernist and architectural pieces from sterling silver, bronze, copper, and 14 karat gold with the incorporation of precious and semi-precious stones. Boyd’s jewelry is hand wrought, meaning every aspect of each piece is built by hand down to the smallest details and fixtures. The metal used is acquired from United States based refineries, recycled rather than recently pulled from the earth.
Working as a jeweler full time, Boyd attends approximately twenty shows per year. He has appeared at local fine craft shows, including the 3rd year of MCA’s Portland Fine Craft Show, and many abroad including Lincoln Center in New York City. His favorite regular appearances include the annual Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine. A member of the Maine Crafts Association, Boyd is also a member of The Society of North American Goldsmiths.
Along with the show circuit, much of Boyd’s success as a full-time jeweler comes from sales on the e-commerce site, Etsy. His fully stocked, regularly updated Etsy shop has reached customers from around the globe with a variety of rings, brooches, earrings, and more.
Boyd’s creative interests don’t stop at metalwork. Though he received a BFA from The Cleveland Institute of Art, and an MFA from Tyler School of Art, his creative interests reach far beyond metalsmithing. After college, he worked as an exhibit installer, taught in Austin, Texas at Laguna Gloria, and worked for ten years on-air as a disk jockey for an alternative rock radio station. Boyd is a fierce advocate for animal welfare. He served on the board of the Kennebec Valley Humane Society, and fosters cats and kittens while their health improves and they wait for their forever homes.
When did you first begin creating fine jewelry?
I made my first piece of jewelry in a high school art class.
What are your favorite metal to work with?
I would have to say sterling. It certainly is the metal I work with most often.
When did you realize your craft and skills were the making of a career?
I got the job of shop supervisor in a jewelry design and production company immediately after leaving graduate school and moving to Texas.
Who were your most influential teachers and mentors?
John Paul Miller. John Paul was a world famous goldsmith and head of the jewelry making and metalsmithing department at the Cleveland Institute of Art when I attended. Although I never learned his signature technique, gold granualization, he taught me to value the sculptural potential of jewelry design.
View Boyd Johnson’s fine modernist and architectural jewelry at the Center for Maine Craft. To see more, visit Boyd’s Etsy shop, Quimby St.
Visit him this year at the Common Ground Country Fair!