A graduate from the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology, Jonathan Smiddy knew he wanted to be a bench jeweler right after high school when he took an interest in Indian handy crafts.

Today, Jonathan has twenty-one years of jewelry experience under his belt and is a bench jeweler at Acori Diamonds & Design in Friendswood, Texas. Here, he spends his days repairing and making jewelry, including changing watch batteries.

Jonathan’s passion is building new and exciting pieces. His specialty is creating unique, modern designs that end up being geometric works of art.

According to Jonathan, he works best when he’s under pressure – this is why the thinks he’ll walk away from the Battle of the Benches victorious. “Why not?” he says. Jonathan is a pretty well-rounded bench guy, however, he enjoys setting stones the most. At the moment, his biggest challenge is getting a 3D print resin to cast properly, but he knows he’ll get it soon!

When he’s not busy at the store, he enjoys visiting museums, camping, spending time with family, and attending church. His favorite part of being a jeweler so far is having the opportunity to create his wife’s and his wedding bands.

One of his most fond memories includes meeting jeweler, Robert Whiteside before he passed. “His shop was as crazy as the jewelry he made,” says Jonathan.

To see what the other contestants are up against, here is some of Jonathan’s work below:

The customer really liked my long, sweeping design elements and tapered diamonds. This piece is titanium with a drusy quartz.

As an experiment, I fabricated these earrings without the use of the laser welder. They’re slices of watermelon tourmaline.

This is the beginning of a series of studies on engagements rings utilizing two tone in euro shanks.

A competition piece I designed featuring lapis with diamond, tsavorite garnet, and synthetic padparsha accents.