John Satterfield ran a graphic design company in Florida for several years with his wife, Dot. He became interested in craft through a development project in Peru in 1963, in which he worked alongside local wood-carvers and stone masons. Throughout his career, he visited many countries, including Japan, India, Guatemala, and Mexico. Satterfield experimented with furniture design, ceramics, and textiles at the University of Kansas, but metalwork remained his passion. He also experimented with a variety of techniques and used a range of metals to explore different colors and finishes.