Adam on Design Inspiration
“Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, I enjoyed a childhood exploring the outdoor world around me. One of my favorite regions in the state, the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado, is home to some of the most awe-inspiring vistas in the world. From majestic peaks of crimson and gold, to fields of wildflowers blooming for just a few weeks in an explosion of color, inspiration abounded. The area is rich not only in wildlife but also in minerals. The excitement of finding gems, buried treasure, ignited my imagination and began my career in the gem and jewelry world.
As my collection of gems and minerals grew, I took the next step into stone cutting, which I began at age 10. Studying with local rock hounds and lapidary artists, I learned to transform rough gemstone discoveries into polished cabochons. Cutting open stones, discovering interesting patterns and colors within, and shaping them into free-form gemstones thrilled me. As my training progressed, I learned to turn these cabochons into jewelry. I started in silver with a local, southwestern style. Over the next two years, I shifted toward a modern aesthetic, and the early Adam Neeley designs were born. So it was that my childhood hobby grew naturally into a passionate and life-long career.