Colorado artist Tony Finocchio captures the essence of free-spirited mountain living in his handcrafted jewelry collection. Find more of his work on his website.
My inspiration for art and life lives on the fringes of the mainstream. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to the unique shop around the corner and down the alley, the underground rock band with a voice that stands out from the rest, or the interesting person who’s quietly observing the scene from the back of the crowd. This is where my artistic expression thrives.
Curiosity and a love of skiing originally drew me to Telluride, a former mining town nestled in a box canyon high in the San Juan mountains of Southwestern Colorado.
Like most long-time residents, Telluride has become a part of me over the years. The spirit of the area and untamed natural beauty of the landscapes inspire my jewelry designs. In fact, the silver, copper and gold minerals that were mined here so many years ago are the same core materials I use in my work.
I love working with metal. The textures. The way diﬀerent elements respond to my tools. Although I’ve been making jewelry for over a decade, I’m still amazed at how a firm, controlled hand can finesse Mother Earth’s raw materials into an artful piece of jewelry.
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The intense focus and attention to detail required by the craft itself is meditative. When I make jewelry, the rest of the world disappears.
Jewelry often carries a very personal meaning for its owner. It may be an original piece that sparks a feeling when first seen and held, or a custom design intended to capture a specific moment or memory in the life of the individual who wears it. The act of wearing jewelry, much like the process of creating it, is intimate.
For the last few years I’ve had the privilege of sharing my love of metalsmithing with both kids and adults through group classes and private sessions in my workshop. I know the deep meaning jewelry making holds for me. It’s inspiring to see the joy this art form brings to my students.
My own designs have evolved over the years. They have grown from raw, visceral translations of mountain beauty to more refined and subtle pieces that embrace that majesty but still maintain an edge. In my most recent eﬀorts I’ve started including high-carat gold and gemstones.
I’m in the process of developing a line of jewelry that I hope will capture the essence of my designs and introduce them to a wider audience.
I’m blessed to live in a place that inspires. As with anyone who works in the arts, my growth depends on finding new and meaningful ways to articulate the world around me. It’s this responsibility as an artist and the dedication required of my craft that drive me on the never-ending quest to sharpen my creative lens.
Artist Tony Finocchio invites you to follow him on Instagram.
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