Artist Spotlight: Bill Matheson

Bill Matheson is a self proclaimed rock hound and has been for as long has he can remember. His grandfather is a gem cutter; it’s not surprising that Bill too is passionate about designing and crafting gems—it’s in his blood. He grew up marveling at his grandfather’s work and honing his eye for creating gem pieces. Today as an accomplished gem cutter, Bill has been awarded local and national accolades for his creativity and design. “I have been fortunate enough to work with some of the rarest and highest caliber stones in the world” says Bill. “In my design process I let the stone tell me what it wants to be, and simply set it free.”

What makes your design process unique? How do you keep your designs fresh?

Our design process is different in that the client is totally in control of the whole thing. It really is a fun process to see it go from sketch to wax, model to finished piece. As far as keeping the in house designs fresh, I take inspiration from everyday life. I like to let the stones speak for themselves. I’m also partial to very old world design, sort of rough hewn and primitive, with a modern flair.

What has been your biggest accomplishment as a craftsman?

To be able to carry on a family craft, with success. The idea of a family member passing their art to the next generation is something that, unfortunately, is pretty rare today.

How do you measure success?

Success is when you wake up eager to do what you do. I don’t call it work because, frankly, it’s not.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome?

I think, stepping out in faith, that if you are passionate about your art, other people will be too. Getting over that fear of failure is the biggest step, after that challenge the rest seem relatively easy.

What is one thing people don’t generally know about you?

That I’m a closet gear head. I love building cars and driving quick, well handling cars. To take a stock car and make it what you want it to be is an art just like any other medium.

Who/what inspires your style?

Things in nature, the subtle symmetry that we often overlook. The ancients also inspire me. They didn’t over do it, they just let it be what it wanted to be. Sometimes that’s hard to do.

Leah Grout