Patania, Frank Jr.
"I am Frank Patania Jr. My father, Frank Sr. was a well-known and respected jewelry designer, silver and goldsmith. He was born in Sicily in 1899 and died in 1964. So I am a second-generation designer, silver and goldsmith. I was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1932. I grew up watching my dad at his workbench. I observed how he handled his tools, working and shaping the metal with deft movements of his hands. Around the age of seven I started to learn how to handle the tools myself. I continued to develop my skills working alongside my father on weekends and summers. After graduating from the University of Arizona and serving in the military I returned to Tucson in 1956 to work full time in the family business. I gradually developed my own design style, which was more contemporary than my father's complex floral motifs. I describe my style as "architectural." By the mid 1960s I was considered one of the influential young contemporary jewelers in the country. I was represented in many juried shows and I have two of my pieces in the permanent collection at the Renwick Gallery, fine arts arm of the Smithsonian. To expand my design and technical skills I began to accept commissions for liturgical pieces. These pieces represent my finest work and I would like to share them along with some of the jewelry I have designed and made." -Frank Patania Jr.