I have always enjoyed designing and creating things.  After graduating from college and doing a stint in the Peace Corps, I was a professional educator for thirty one years – twenty seven of these years as a guidance counselor in the public schools.  During this time both as a PC Volunteer and educator, I was always working with people.  I would come home after school and many times wonder what, if anything, had I really accomplished that day.  I knew I did a lot to help people, but in most cases, it was really difficult to measure – to see direct results of my efforts.

      This is when working in the area of arts and crafts became an important part of my life.  After being in school all day, I could go out in our home workshop and create “things” to my heart’s content.  I could see tangible results; I knew what I had specifically accomplished.  Another important aspect of this was to help me alleviate many of the stresses that might have occurred throughout the day.  In the workshop I have more control over the situation; as a counselor, this was usually not the case.

      I have been involved with arts and crafts for over thirty five years.  For many years I worked creating graphic wood designs, but now pewter castings have become my major emphasis.  I am basically self-taught in the casting area.  I have learned a lot through “trial and error” and in many cases a lot of “errors”.  I tend to be somewhat of a perfectionist and keep working on something until I get that special and unique creation.

      My wife, Susan, is an integral part of my life and has helped me immensely. She also has retired as  a guidance counselor at the same school where I was and is very involved with many of the aspects of our business.  We live in an earth-sheltered house in a wooded area outside of Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Here there are lots of trees and wildlife.  Susan has managed to transform most of our lawn into a huge flower garden consisting of many perennial plants. Nature is important to us and consequently, has been the emphasis of our pewter designs.

      We travel to many arts and crafts fairs throughout the year though primarily during the summer months.  It is at these fairs where we have met many tremendous people. Because of these people, through their feedback and encouragement, we decided to create this website.  If you have any questions or feedback of your own, please let us know.

Jim Swanson