About John Ladd – Jewelry Artist
I hold a BFA in Computer Art and Design from Indiana University – Fort Wayne and it was there that I studied metal smithing for two years as part of my foundation in design. There was a point where I had to choose a final direction for my studies and I went with computers with the idea of job security. As technology continues to grow and change, I realized how much I missed working with metal and I slowly burned out working digitally.
My influences vary from the eccentric and unique to distinguished and formal. Being somewhat whimsical, and my sketchbooks taking multiple directions, the term “Asylum” started bouncing around to describe what I was doing. As I opened up to the idea of just having fun with this venture instead of following a specific business model, the foundation of P.H. Asylum Works developed.
Based on a character pendant I created for my partner, and his middle name mixed with mine, “Dr. Paul Henry” was born. That’s where the “P.H.” comes from. The studio and my work became dubbed “P.H. Asylum Works” under the direction of this alter-ego. My creations continue to jump in various directions and styles, but they all revolve around working with base metals and the occasional found materials.
I avoid working in precious metals for several reasons. First is that I personally am not attracted to silver or gold. I find them limited in appearance and neutral, or cold, in feeling. Second, there seems to be an abundance of silver and goldsmiths everywhere. One of my favorite things I hear at the art fairs I have taken part in is, “Oh wow, it’s not another silver artist” and that always makes my day. Last but not least, I love the versatility of base metals. The color possibilities are not limited and cold and this pushes my imagination.
On a final note, when I began to take this seriously as a business idea, I tried to follow all of the rules and guidelines one is supposed to follow. Then I looked back at 15 years of playing music in bands, what worked and what didn’t, and decided to approach my jewelry and metal work the same way I would approach being in a band. It works for me, it’s different, and I’m having fun with this aspect of my life as I approach it a little bit differently than most would.
Welcome to P.H. Asylum Works, where you can always find that one of a kind gift for that “special” (crazy) person in your life.