RODNEY RAPP


Meet Rodney Rapp: Custom Jeweler

Rodney was born and raised in San Antonio. And, like most jeweler’s, he learned his craft from his father, who owns Rainbow Jewelers Supply. His dad started training Rodney to make jewelry when he was just 10-years old.

Rodney said “If there was something that I wanted, my dad would make me work for it. Let’s say I wanted a new fishing pole, I had to go in, learn and work and that would earn me the fishing pole. I started out by making rubber molds, shooting wax and learning to cast. And now, I’m passing it down to my 9-year old daughter Katylin. She has done her first casting and is now making waxes. When she used the torch, it seemed like it was almost as big as her.”

Rodney says that what he enjoys most about being a jeweler is that every day is different. Some days you could be casting and making molds. Other days you are repairing jewelry, making jewelry or laser engraving.

And now there’s a whole new direction for Rodney. He will be producing custom pieces and a new unique jewelry line for the store. While Medlars has created custom pieces for years, producing original designs for our showcases is a fresh and different approach.

Rodney's Newest Jewelry Designs

Recently, Chapman brought the idea of creating Mokume-gane jewelry to his jewelers. As luck would have it, Rodney’s dad had been interested in it as well and has books and videos on this ancient Japanese process. Rodney has been studying the technique and perfecting his skill.

Mokume-gane  is a Japanese metalworking procedure that produces a mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns. Mokume-gane translates closely to "wood grain metal" or "wood eye metal", describing the way the metal takes on the appearance of natural wood grain.

There’s a lot of banging going on in the back because of Rodney now. As he said, “you get metal together and you fuse them and twist them and shape them and forge them together into patterns. The pattern scheme is endless and each piece is unique. You can get one pattern out of a billet, but once that is used, you must make a new one and it will never really be identical. We heat and hammer the metals, changing their molecular structure. What we end up with is metal that looks like it has a grain. This is truly custom. It’s hand forged and can’t be replicated.

Rodney's Other Unique Skills

Another skill that Rodney has that is hard to find in San Antonio is laser engraving. Most people only think about putting a name and date on a charm or locket, but so many more things can be done. Gun engraving, knife engraving, you can even use it to cut patterns into existing wedding bands. Rodney has a picture of his daughter and himself engraved into his knife. Come see what Rodney is working on today at Medlars.

Mokume-gane is a product made by fusing several layers of different colored precious metals together forming a sandwich called a billet. The billet is then manipulated in such a way that a pattern resembling wood grain emerges over the surface. *
x