As an artist, Ken Schmidt does not limit himself to one media, but utilizes many different materials to create his unique work. Metals, precious stones, gems, wood and electronics create sculptures and one of a kind wearable art.
Schmidt grew up watching his father, a true artist of auto body and fender repair. He picked up his first torch at age six and has been exploring the uses and potential of metals ever since. As a teenager, he worked at a local jewelry store, which expanded his education to setting stones and repairing watches.
Ken has earned a BA from Southern Illinois University in metalsmithing and jewelry design and an MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York with a concentration in sculpture, and a minor in metalsmithing and jewelry design.
In 2005, Ken opened Schmidt Studio, the culmination of his years of experience and skills. Schmidt Studio prides itself on quality old-world craftsmanship that will stand the test of time, while also staying abreast of modern technologies – creating quality contemporary pieces. All of Schmidt’s work is made with the finest gems and diamonds, 18k gold or sterling silver. He makes custom pieces in any type of metal from sterling silver to white gold to palladium.
Ken’s work often explores the relationship between man, history, nature and machines. Surrounded by forest preserves in the south suburbs of Chicago, his private studio is perfectly placed to observe how the natural world and people interact. Chicago’s diverse cultural history also inspires him daily – from viewing interesting architecture to working with jewelers of all cultures at historic Jewelers Row.
Schmidt Studio can custom design the perfect wedding rings, redesign your historic family jewelry into new updated heirloom jewelry, or melt down old jewelry to create a new modern piece. In addition to new and custom designs, Ken repairs jewelry, watches, teapots, antiques or other heirloom pieces.
Men and women both can appreciate the unique design of Ken Schmidt watches. The one-of-a-kind design and superb craftsmanship are complimented by the finest Swiss Quartz movements available. All handcrafted watches come with a sapphire in the crown, Quartz Swiss movement, and a lifetime guarantee. Choose from several different dials and hand styles, as well as the full range of metal choices.
Schmidt Studio is an environmentally oriented custom design jewelry store striving to create pieces that are not only beautiful, but ethical as well. With the increased awareness of harmful mining and processing practices in the gold and diamond industry, Schmidt Studio has a mission to source materials from the most environmentally and socially responsible suppliers available.
But more importantly, Schmidt Studio specializes in reusing precious metals and stones for the vast majority of designs. Melting down old gold jewelry, redesigning estate pieces into exciting new jewelry and re-cutting or polishing damaged gems for reuse are just some of the practices used by Schmidt Studio. Precious materials can only be successfully reused by a skilled metalsmith. I have perfected the techniques required to create high quality jewelry with reused materials so that Schmidt Studio customers are wearing beautiful designs that are not marred by the social and environmental stigma associated with typical commercial jewelry.