After receiving a BA in Printmaking from The University of the South in 1975, Jim Norton enrolled at the University of Georgia to pursue an MFA. He soon changed plans and opened a retail business with his wife, Lane. After 25 years in retail sales, he returned to the University of Georgia to again and received an MFA in Jewelry and Metalwork in 2007.
Jim has been designing and selling jewelry since 2000. He creates his unique designs in his home studio in Athens, Georgia using sterling silver, copper, and aluminum in combination with enamels, paper, and gold.
Jim creates his jewelry using a process called Kumbo, a Korean metal technique which involves fusing 24K gold to fine silver. The process is done by cleaning the silver surface and heating the piece on a hot plate while burnishing the gold pattern onto the silver.
The theory is that pure metals have very similar atomic structures and therefore have a good potential for bonding. Heating the metals to a temperature of 500-700 F increases the movement of the atoms. When pressure is added it causes an electron exchange at the surface between two metals, creating a permanent diffusion bond. This bond occurs far below the soldering temperature.