Bellingham, Washington, United States
Jim's love of craft started in his grandmother's home. His grandmother was a weaver and furniture maker who inspired Jim to use his creative talents. Jim has been making jewelry for over 30 years. Though he learned jewelry basics in high school he has continued to make jewelry and expand his knowledge all of his adult life.
Jim has always been drawn to the beauty and workmanship of Japanese craft. Once he saw mokume in the early 1980s he knew he would make mokume. He pioneered a technique for making electric kiln-fired mokume gane. In 1991 he established James Binnion Metal Arts (JBMA), working exclusively in mokume. He has consulted with other mokume artists and metallurgists to develop his theoretical and practical knowledge of metallurgy. He continues to refine his lamination process and designs. Jim has been on the web since 1996.
His designs are a perfect blend of his personality. The rigorous requirements to successfully laminate mokume gane reflect the engineer side of his brain while the carved patterns and designs reflect his artistic side.
A recognized master of mokume gane, Jim has taught numerous mokume classes as well as classes in metalsmith and goldsmith techniques. He freely shares his expertise on the Ganoksin Orchid jewelry forum and has been interviewed for numerous articles on mokume, metals and jewelry. His chapter for Steve Midgett's book, “Mokume Gane A Comprehensive Study” describes the use of the electric kiln in making mokume. He has written and presented a number of papers on mokume at The Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology. In May 2003, he was awarded the Industry Leader Award by The Santa Fe Symposium for his significant contribution in sharing quality technical information.
His background includes 9 years as an electronics technician in the US Navy Submarine Service and 13 years as an electronics engineer with SRI International designing and constructing scientific research instrumentation.