In The Picture – Tom Mathis
Co-owner of Symmetry Jewelers
"After 46 years, I’m still designing jewelry every day and loving it just as much."
Q: What inspired you to pursue an art career in jewelry?
A: My mother was an artist and the biggest influence on my becoming a professional. I enjoyed art as a young man but quickly realized how hard it would be to earn a good living as an artist. In college, I drove a truck for Adler’s jewelry store and watched the jewelers intently when I could. I realized then that I could apply my artistic talents in the jewelry field and taught myself the dying art of hand engraving so that I could draw and cut my own jewelry designs.
Q: What most informs your style?
A: Early on I studied a lot of classical jewelry designs and was most influenced by the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods of jewelry making. Those styles still inspire my work.
Q: Is there an accomplishment you’re particularly proud of?
A: I am proud that over the years my brother Richard and I have been able to bring art back into the field of jewelry making. Symmetry was the first true jewelry gallery in New Orleans to give other jewelry artists—from all over—a place to display and sell their art. After 46 years, I’m still designing jewelry every day and loving it just as much.