Alto Artists’ Studio Tour
Spotlighting Artist John Bennett

How does a dentist become a jewelry artist? Easy explanation from Dr. John Bennett – while in dental school he was taught to carve in wax and work with gold, called lost wax casting.

It’s a method of metal casting in which a molten metal (gold, for example) is poured into a mold that has been created by means of a wax model. Once the mold is made, the wax model is melted and drained away. This provided a background for John to eventually pursue his long-time interest in art.

Art was in his family; his brother was a painter whose art John envied early in his adult life.  In 2015, Dr. Bennett was planning to sell his dental practice and knew he would be restless without a hobby or something to occupy his time.  He enjoyed carving in dental school, so he invested in some metal and made a large gold pin of a yellowjacket.

His effort was a success.  Satisfying his very visual nature and providing a creative outlet John was anxious to explore.

A well-respected silversmith in Ruidoso, Joe Madrid, agreed to train John at Joe’s home and his Apache Trading business location.  Forty hours of dedicated process and attention to detail was exactly the impetus John needed to realize he wanted to pursue his talent.  A turning point was learning how to cut stone.

Today, John’s jewelry is testament to his enthusiasm and talent. “I absolutely love all the pieces I have gotten from John. I think my favorite is a turquoise bracelet he made for me to match a ring I already had. Very creative and very talented artist,” remarks local Alto resident Terry Greer.