Artisanal Bladesmith & Jeweler: Raymond Roberts
– By Danica Stockton
Raymond Roberts has been developing and executing his craft as a bladesmith and jeweler for the last three years. Hailing from Norman, Oklahoma, he takes pride in providing artisanal pieces to the local area as well as fulfilling orders for customers nationwide. Initially, his craft was centered around custom made knives. Raymond expanded into jewelry by crafting rings and pendant necklaces. Raymond’s creative process has allowed him to stay true to his artistic roots while delivering high-quality products tailored to his customers’ specific desires.
A full understanding of customer preferences and intended use of the piece Raymond crafts is an essential component to his ability to satisfy his customers time and time again. He provides knives for the restaurant industry’s professional chefs. Other customers use the knives for cooking at home, as art to display, or as gifts for friends and family. In addition to knives, Raymond creates unique engagement and wedding rings, necklaces, and earrings.
The next step in his process is to sketch several designs to review with his customer. Once a design is selected, Raymond either sources his materials, whether they are handcrafted by him or sourced from other craftsmen. Materials include wood, gemstones, steel, and titanium. Damascus, which is created by welding together slices of steel and titanium, is a common theme of his works. Damascus yields patterns reminiscent of marble, water ripples, or wood rings by alternating light and dark metal elements.
To complete his process, Raymond forges metals, heat treats materials, grinds, shapes, and polishes his pieces to perfection. He then packages the knives in handcrafted leather sheaths or wooden sayas to protect the blades. Jewelry patrons can expect their items to arrive carefully packaged in jewelry boxes with a handwritten appreciation note from the artist himself detailing materials used and optimal care instructions for their piece.
Raymond is happy to impact his community with high-quality knives and jewelry. As he puts it, “Every time my customers look at their wedding rings, it is a lasting impactful symbol of their union.” And of his knife customers, Raymond loves that with every meal his knives prepare, he had a part in creating a lasting memory. Raymond says his path to success is widely due to bringing a “human element to the business, while human connection and interaction is a huge part.” When asked for his greatest tips on success, Raymond advises to, “push yourself beyond your limits and artistic abilities” and to “stay true to yourself.”
To see Raymond’s creations and learn more about him and his artwork, you can visit his Instagram @royalty_rings_co.