I have been making jewelry for 41 years.
When I was in high school I started apprenticing to my dad, Frank Patania Jr. Dad was already a nationally known artist as was my grandfather.
As an apprentice my joy was to do a good job making what ever my dad gave me. I wanted to be a superior silversmith and that is what I thought of myself as.
After a few years I noticed I had become my dad's go to silversmith. I was working next to a man who had started his career working for my grandfather then worked for my dad. He was a master silversmith, his name was Dan Enos and he was from the Akimel O'odham people.
When I was able to produce jewelry as well as Dan I became very proud of my work and my direction as a silversmith started to change toward being an artist. I found that construction of jewelry was not longer a obstacle. I needed to challenge myself more by designing and becoming involved with the business and clients. I began to get my own clients who would order from me When dad was in Santa Fe during the summer I became the de-facto boss of the Tucson store, The Thunderbird Shop.
We were at that time located in the Old Adobe building (the Charles O. Brown house) located at 40 West Broadway in Tucson.
It was during this time I fell in love with creating and selling jewelry. I have not looked back and was able to challenge myself with commissions which terrified me. I was terrified because I was constantly designing things I had never made before. Using my knowledge from being an apprentice I was able to build a career.
I love making jewelry, I love designing jewelry.