wondermonger(n.) One who deals in wonders; a wonderworker.
The job description “wondermonger” is the perfect term to describe the jewelry niche I have created for myself.; I am Michael Reid Hunter, a goldsmith and wondermonger.
I have always been a collector, majoring in “show-and-tell” in elementary school and bringing home shells, rocks and bugs while growing up in South Florida, I have long been drawn to unusual objects. After graduating from Florida State University in English and Primitive Religion and working for the State of Florida as a geodetic surveyor, I later headed back to F.S.U. in art, taking studio classes in fine art and metals and studying with the enamellist William Harper for two years before continuing on to Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, completing my M.F.A. in Metalsmithing in 1989, under Gary Griffin. Jewelry was the perfect outlet for my trove of ancient coins, artifacts, gemstones, amulets and everything that caught my eye.
High karat gold is my chosen material; its colour and weight setting it vividly apart from other jewelry metals. I prefer to keep my creations unpolished, the scratched and soft lusters allowing the color of the metals to be more easily seen. One of my favourite alloys is 23 karat “lemon gold”, using tiny bits of silver and copper alloy to make pure gold a bit more “lemony” in colour.
Making jewelry that empowers its owner, allowing them to feel both protected and enlarged in spirit is one of my favourite commissions. Our contemporary society has lost much of its “magic”; charms and amulets are a potent remedy for the loss of personal power.
Materials might include a casting of an ancient coin, a rare antique bead, a piece of fossil walrus ivory, gold, silver, even an aluminum pull tab. Working hand in hand with a client to discover favourite colours, objects and metals allows me to create personal ornament. It is a voyage of amazement, discovery and joy.