Our Team

Gabriel Owen

Founder & instructor

Gabriel Owen our founder and instructor  A second-generation jeweler with over 25 years’ experience and a Graduate Gemologist of GIA. He took his training with top master from around the world in Hand engraving, diamond setting jewelry manufacturing and 3D design.

Steve Lindsay


Inventor of the famous  Airgraver palm control, In 1975, at the age of 17, Steve began to learn hand engraving with his father who is a watchmaker and jeweler, In 1980 began full time engraving after finishing his education at Nebraska tech college for machine tool and die making. Steve will teach in our institute for the first time ever.

Barry Lee Hands


Barry's engraving journeys have brought him into contact with many of the world’s most respected engravers.The beginning of his journey was an apprenticeship as a western bright cut engraver at Gist Engravers in California. While in the employ of Gary Gist, Barry learned the skills required to master the hand-pushed engraving tool under the tutelage of Ethan Jacczak

Otto Carter


Abilene, Texas native Otto Carter has an extensive background in fine art and graphic design. He began his career as a sign artist while earning his art degree at Abilene Christian University (1984). His eclectic approach to design comes from his interest in styles from a vast number of cultures.  He is recently more known for his renderings of styles from the 19th century, especially ephemera from the Aesthetic Movement of the Victorian era. His engraving work is seen world-wide in a variety of objects including firearms, motorcycles, knives and jewelry. 

Rick Simmons


Primarily self-taught, Rick studied the works of Lynton McKenzie and later worked alongside one of Lynton’s former students, Tom Mathis, at Symmetry Jewelers and Designers in New Orleans, LA. Rick has studied advanced engraving techniques with American, Italian, Belgian, and Russian masters and his work can be found on timepieces, jewelry, knives, and other heirloom collectibles worldwide

Aleksey Saburov


Russian-born, New Jersey based designer engraver Aleksey Saburov truly is a world-renowned
when it comes to “hobo-nickels,” the niche art form of creatively altering small coins. He makes
XXI Century "hobo coins" as unique works of art, micro-engraved on authentic nickels from the
early 1900's.
Aleksey holds the prestigious title of Master-engraver of the highest, 6th Craftsmanship Degree
– being the highest category awarded.

Weldon Lister 


Weldon is a third-generation artist/craftsman using the simplest of tools, a hammer & chisel, to engrave the most intricate and beautiful details in steel, gold, silver and bronze.

In 1979 at age 17 he began apprenticeship training under the watchful eye of his father, Master engraver W.E. “Bill” Lister who apprenticed under his uncle, Austin Lee Lister in the late 1940’s. 

In addition to engraving firearms, knives, custom-made belt buckles, jewelry and musical instruments, Weldon is an accomplished (though not overly prolific) knife maker, preferring to make lock-blade, folding knives.  Using the “stock removal” method of knife making, Weldon’s knives are not only a functional tool, but serve as a custom “palette” upon which to display his art. 

Bram Roman


Bram Ramon was born in Antwerp, Belgium, and is justly recognised for the quality of his hand-engraving on luxury watches and custom jewelry.

His voyage in search of "the beautiful line" as Bram prefers to call it, started as a goldsmith engaged in making fine jewellery. In his search for mastery of traditional technique, Bram studied at the famous Liege school, there learning the arts of engraving and ornamental composition.

Today, this passion for understanding the fundamentals of fine art and the many techniques of the engraver, as well as countless hours spent in composition, drawing and re-drawing, has resulted in several first prizes and awards.

Tira mitchell


Tira Mitchell is an artist, hand engraver, stone setter, teacher and entrepreneur.  Since 1994, Tira has created unique expressions in metal and is known for challenging large format projects like Donnie Smith’s Gibson Guitar® anniversary motorcycle and the 1,500,000th Martin Guitar® “DaVinci Unplugged.”


Tira has demonstrated stone setting/engraving techniques at trade shows nationally and abroad for many years.  Her work is displayed on-line at her website TiraMitchell.com. 

Rémy Rotenier


Paris-born jewelry designer and artist Rémy Rotenier is a passionate third generation designer, the first in his family to work in jewelry.


He is well known for his extensive experience in all jewelry categories with some of the most famous jewelers worldwide.


Rotenier received his bachelor’s degree in jewelry design in Paris while working for Cristofol, a workshop catering to the finest names in European high-end jewelry.


He holds a graduate gemologist degree from the French Institute of Gemology (ING) in Paris and passed Diamond Grading with GIA in New York.


In 1990 he was hired by Tiffany & Co. in New York to be one of their three staff designers.  Five years later he moved to New Mexico to become design director for Kabana.

Lee Griffiths


 Art in general and engraving in particular have been a fascinating journey--beginning as a hobby, then an avocation, and now a full-time pursuit. I specialize in one-of-a-kind, exhibition grade engraving and art in all styles and techniques. Whatever the mind can imagine I can make reality. My engravings and art pieces can be found in private collections and museums around the world.

It has been my privilege to teach hundreds of students over the years in the United States, Germany, and the diamond district of Belgium. Age, gender, and level of ability do not matter. My students have ranged from no experience whatsoever to accomplished, experienced engravers, master goldsmiths, and stone setters looking to either refine their skills with the most advanced techniques or to better understand the art and design side of engraving. Whomever you may be, I can help you if you want to learn.

Past Visiting Masters

Alexander Sidorov


Alexander's extensive background in engraving and stone setting results from working in many high-quality environments since a young age.
At the beginning of his artistic career, he worked for two years in the military’s bureau of high-precision microstamp engraving.

Sam Alfano


This talented artist began engraving in the 1970s. He was hired in 1982 by Stanley Diefenthal of New Orleans Arms Company to engrave his personal gun. During this time, the great Lynton McKenzie shared his skills with Alfano.


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