Jim Kelso began working with wood in a boat-building class he took at a community college. He became interested in different decoration techniques, including inlay and engraving, while making stringed instruments. The artist describes his first encounter with Japanese art at the Smith Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1981, as a “pivotal experience.” Kelso began making mountings for Japanese-style swords, and after two months spent in Japan on a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council, he broadened his scope to include jewelry, netsuke (toggles) and ojime (beads). He finds inspiration in nature, decay, and “homely objects” that normally go unnoticed.
Luce Artist Biography