Our guest on Metalsmith Benchtalk on Thursday, October 1st, 2015 at 3:00 pm PST is Bill Fretz: jeweler, craftsman, teacher and designer of remarkable tools.
Join us for this LIVE interview- if you have a question for Bill during the conversation, log onto the chatroom at Blogtalkradio.com or send a message to Whaley Studios via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Bill's interest in making jewelry began with his interest in jewelry-making tools (no surprise) and grew after talking to renowned metalsmiths like Paul Evans. Developing his own line of tools was his answer to the design challenges he would encounter, challenges that traditional tools couldn't fix.
It's his love of tools and working with metal, seeing what overlapping hammer blows can do, that inspires Bill to design award-winning jewelry and custom tools. Fretz forming stakes represent perfected precision and unrivaled quality. His innovative, gorgeous tools are not only the prized possessions of scores of jewelry-makers, they have also been exhibited at trade shows and in galleries.
Today, Bill continues to design custom tools and teach students how to use them, all while running his business with his wife Marian in Bucksport, Maine. His best teaching moment to date? As a teaching assistant to jeweler John Paul Miller at Cleveland Institute of Art (his first job). And in every class he teaches, Bill's love of metal-forming is renewed as his students "constantly remind me that designing with metal is an exploration."