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Indiana Artisan Chuck Bruce
Location:
Indianapolis
Medium:
Silver inlay jewelry
Availability:
Art shows, Art In Hand Gallery, Basile Gift Shop at the Indianapolis Arts Center
FEATURED WORK
Chuck Bruce

“For me, having an idea, seeing it come to life and truly become a thing of beauty is exceptionally fulfilling. Taking a rock, something produced by nature with no value except for its properties, then cutting, grinding and polishing it to make a gorgeous piece of art in its own right is rewarding to my soul.”

Chuck Bruce has a background in interior design and fashion merchandising, as well as a longtime interest in antiques and period buildings. That’s not the way most jewelry designers begin their careers, and most of them don’t specialize in lapidary inlay work.

Chuck’s career sparked when his partner was taking a glass-blowing class at the Indianapolis Arts Center and urged him to take some kind of class, too. This Indiana Artisan chose a class in silver.

“I do all the silverwork, stone cutting, grinding, shaping, and polishing in a very streamline look of work,” Chuck explained. “I try to find unique, unknown stones and let them speak for themselves. Mother Nature makes some beautiful art.”

He prefers to use unusual or unique gems and minerals including local minerals, geodes and fossils. To reveal a stone’s essence, Chuck identifies its best properties, whether it is the flash, color, texture, or drama. Making those properties work within an envelope of sterling silver, occasionally gold, can be challenging.

The payoff, he says, is becoming part of the lives of everyone who wears his jewelry.

He didn’t fully understand the impact of his work until he heard a story from a client. Her husband had commissioned Chuck to create a bracelet for her. When the man was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor, the wife told Chuck she would treasure and value the bracelet for the rest of her life.

“Creating art that has that type of impact on someone’s life means so much to me,” Chuck said. “Art, and especially jewelry, is very personal to most people.”

His Hoosier heritage makes him proud. “There are some exceptional artists in Indiana, and I am proud to be part of that group,” Chuck said. “I love being referred to as a regional artist, born and raised in Indiana, and truly being part of the local artist community.”

But he also appreciates being part of a statewide arts community through Indiana Artisan. “I understand the goal of the organization and wanted to be part of that,” Chuck explained.

“Through Indiana Artisan, I have additional resources to show, market and sell my work. Art also is a business, and I remember that, though my main focus has always been the quality of my work and keeping that as high as I can as a craftsperson.”