Even as a kid I loved to tinker and draw, but never viewed myself as an “artist”. (Neither did my kindergarten teacher, as she awarded me an “unsatisfactory” in handling scissors and crayons!)
The initial spin of the compass for me came in the form of Art Metals-101 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. As a 2D artist, I may not have taken the class had it not been a requirement.
Awkward at first, my hands began to feel comfortable with metal and tools-formulating a vision of possibilities. It was the beginning of my life as I know it today.
I never turned back.
I started Kim Koch Designs in 1980 and for the next decade took on trade work in the form of jewelry-store repair and spec work. I wanted the additional training I recognized in the skills of apprenticed goldsmiths. Thinking and talking makes one a theorist. Practice and hard work makes one a craftsman.
In 1996 Mary and I decided to collaborate in business. Although incredibly successful as a food broker, Mary too, felt the pull of metal and stone: jewelry in general and gems in particular.
With my trademark blend of color gems design, it made perfect sense to add scientist to artist. With much hard work and discipline, Mary achieved the Gem Institute of America’s loftiest degree: Graduate Gemologist.
Following Mary’s vision, our figurative journey became quite literal. We “took the show on the road”, marketing my designs at the finest juried art shows in the United States-where you can find us today.
The magnetic qualities of rare gems fuel our continued exploration of these miracles in nature, and further the challenge: how do I meld color and beautiful design?
And sometimes less is more. Stay tuned for my newest direction: a study in shapes, shadows and possibilities…