Participation in the arts was always important to me growing up. A strong arts program in high school influenced my decision to pursue a degree in the arts. I chose the arts program at Bowling Green State University in northwest Ohio where I discovered and fell in love with metals. I was introduced to many artists, including Michael Boyd, who became an inspiration for me. Upon graduation I apprenticed for Michael Boyd at his studio in Colorado. That experience turned into an eight year adventure that continues today. It was with Michael that I learned to work with and manipulate stone, adding a new element to my love of jewelry design. Since being in Colorado I have started my own business, Ryan Gardner Designs. I now showcase my work in galleries across the country. I love working with combining stone and metal in new ways creating works of art for people to enjoy in their daily lives.