Craftsman of the Month
Cover of Rock&Gem V1N1 March-April 1971

Don Ulrich - January 2000 - Intarsia Jewelry Box

The Craftsman of the Month for January is Don Ulrich, of Evansville, Indiana, for his "Ascending Star" intarsia jewelry box.

Don, who is 71 years young, has been a rockhound since 1976. In addition to intarsia, he also enjoys faceting, wirewrapping, cabbing and bird carving. No doubt, his background and years of experience are what make this lovely work so lovely and intricate. Here's how he explains his project.

"Wanting to create something unusual to welcome in the new century, I was inspired while visiting my daughter in Indianapolis. A quilted eight-pointed star hangs from a wall in her home. It impressed me very much.

"While a star seemed a perfect motif for my 21st-century jewelry box, I made a slight change to a five-pointed star. After all, I figured it would take me about a year to complete this project and, as it turned out, I was right.

"I acquired the necessary materials: picture and Bruneau jaspers, lizardite, rhodonite, howlite, variscite, aventurine, onyx, rhodochrosite, marble, jade, limestone and sodalite. Then I began the slabbing. Next came cutting small strips in various sizes: 1/16-, 1/8- and 3/32-of-an-inch thick.

"The work involved carefully matching each piece with its neighbor, gluing them all in place one by one, and making sure that they were correctly placed and uniform with regard to each other. This required a great deal of patience. However, I am very pleased and proud of the results of so much work, and I enjoyed every minute of it."

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