Felix Westenberger

Originally, I wanted to become a teacher – but then everything turned out differently: From a young age, I always enjoyed exploring craftsmanship and seeing what I could do with my own hands. My father helped me set up a workshop in our basement and I began working with materials such as wood and leather. It was pure coincidence that at the age of 18 or so I moved on to creating jewelry and I crafted my first silver rings. Even during my time at university, I was still fascinated with this hobby and I continued to expand it step by step. I began selling my rings at historic markets around Germany. My customers liked the designs and so my ambitious nature took hold and I ventured into crafting using other precious metals. Over time my skills improved more and more, I became more knowledgeable and also began working with gemstones. So, as you might imagine, I began neglecting my studies at university with time. If the response of my customers had not been so positive, I would have probably completed my course of studies, because how can you expect to be successful long‐term without proper training as a goldsmith?! Yet, that is how things developed. In 1996, I finally decided to drop my course of studies as a teacher in order to work full‐time as a freelance artist. This developed into participating at artisan and crafts markets as well as at home and garden festivals. In the meantime, I was making jewelry in gold, platinum, silver and palladium. And yet, I stayed loyal to my original endeavors and became specialized in working with pure precious metals combined with goldsmith and paddling skills.
Then, one day my wife Petra came up with the idea of branching out into Mokume Gané, and I began experimenting with that. At this time, Mokume Gané was a relatively unknown skill and I could only find a sparse amount of information about it on the Internet. Luckily, I had gained some metallurgical skills during my studies at university, which I found very helpful in the process. My customers and I myself were so thrilled about the results that I concentrated in specializing my skills in this technique and within this set of skills I particularly concentrated on designing wedding rings. A report on television on the show “Galileo” on the channel PRO 7 was finally the breakthrough I required and brought about the success my business needed in the entire German‐speaking region. Since then, I have been marketing these jewelry pieces for the most part from my own workshop and at wedding exhibitions.

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