TWIN FALLS — If it’s something you enjoy, it doesn’t require patience.
That’s how John Boyer sees his job after 25 years of making custom jewelry in his Twin Falls store. And it’s a passion for his work that’s kept him going — staying late at the shop until 3 a.m. and working on Christmas gifts up to 11 p.m. Christmas Eve.
For Boyer, his craft has never been a hobby, but a lifelong career and a business.
“As soon as I entered this world of gold and diamonds and jewelry … it felt so comfortable,” he said. “It was where I belong. … It’s not what I do, it’s who I am.”
He takes pride in his creative expression, embracing the inner artist. At Boyer Jewelry, 1838 Addison Ave. E., customers usually come in with an inkling of what they want for a piece. Boyer tries to take himself out of the thought process, and focus on what the customer wants. He sketches a design, then improves on it. This can take only a couple of minutes, he said.
Once an idea is formed, Boyer carves it into wax or metal, depending his plans for the project. Intricately carved figurines of pheasants, elk and mythical beasts are among some of the molds he’s created.
Boyer uses a jeweler saw to cut out the original carving. An OptiVisor helps him see what he’s doing, and his hands are steady — muscle memory he developed years ago.
“Once you master the tools, then the artist just takes over,” he said.
Boyer grew up in Hagerman and studied art in college before he apprenticed with a goldsmith in Las Vegas in 1972. He later returned to the Magic Valley and opened his store in 1991. Boyer, 65, says he has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Today, it may take as short as four or six weeks to complete a piece.
“Sometimes, I get too busy,” Boyer said. “It doesn’t take a great segment of the population to do what I do and still make a living.”
His wife of 34 years, Chris, helps by taking over the bookkeeping — a job she began in 1994.
“We work really well together,” she said. “It gives me a lot of flexibility because I have a very nice boss. … I enjoy the people.”
Boyer said he has fun watching a piece evolve from start to finish — whether it’s an elk horn ring from a hunter’s prize kill, a wedding ring for a local couple, or a family heirloom remade into something its owner can wear.
“People who enjoy it as a hobby, they would burn out and leave in tears,” he said.
All the same, it’s an intense passion for his work — and not the money — that keeps him going.