Author Biographies


Short Form -

Bradford Smith is a studio jeweler, lapidary and jewelry instructor who teaches at the Adult Education Center in Santa Monica, CA. Smith enjoys rockhounding in the Mojave Desert, photography, and scuba diving. He is a member of the Culver City Rock Club and the Metal Arts Society of Southern California.


Medium Form -

Bradford Smith is a studio jeweler, lapidary and jewelry instructor in Santa Monica, CA who enjoys working with silver, gold, exotic woods, fossil ivory and meteorite. He is a long-time member of the Culver City Rock Club where he has taught lapidary skills, led field trips, organized annual gem shows, and served in almost all of the officer positions. He is a member of the Metal Arts Society of Southern California, has worked as Vice President and given presentations at annual Demo Days. Smith obtained his California Teaching Credential in 2002 and has taught jewelry classes to hundreds of students. He has been at the Santa Monica Adult Education Center since 2009.


Long Form -

Bradford Marshall Smith was raised in Reading, Massachusetts just outside of Boston. As an officer in the Navy, he was assigned to Washington, D.C. just after graduating from Cornell University, and later transferred as a civilian engineer to the Department of Commerce. There he led projects for using computers to design products, control machines, and operate robots to produce industrial parts. His work produced national and international standards for the sharing of product data now widely used in the aircraft, automotive, and heavy equipment industries worldwide.

While stationed in D.C., Smith married and built Whimsey Hill Farm just outside the city. He and his wife raised two daughters while managing numerous horses, cats, dogs, and even a cow. Now retired, he and his wife live in Santa Monica, California where he combines his creative side with his technical abilities teaching gemstone cutting, jewelry design, and fabrication – a consequence of his new hobby, rockhounding.

Smith is a frequent guest speaker for local rockhound clubs, has been featured in several field-related magazines, has authored several books on jewelry techniques, and has created and maintains the LA-Rocks blog (1,800 members), and the BenchTips blog (16,000 members). His arlicles are published monthly in over 200 newsletters in six countries.

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