Get to Know the J.F. Kruse Crew
“Have you ever considered a career in jewelry making?”
It was this simple question from a master goldsmith that changed the trajectory of Harry Monnier’s professional life. At the time, he was an industrial welding student at St. Cloud Technical and Community College and working part-time for a local jewelry artist.
Since then, Harry has indeed become a goldsmith—a talented one. He has combined his passion for details, his penchant for engineering, and his design expertise to create and repair thousands of precious jewelry pieces for satisfied customers.
Right from the get-go, and with renowned German goldsmith Hans Allwicher as a role model and teacher, Harry learned early on the importance of marrying craftsmanship, creativity and technology to produce fine jewelry that would stand the test of time. And he’s been sharing his skills and talents with J.F. Kruse customers for over eleven years.
Harry appreciates the challenge of taking a concept and turning it into a finished piece. With all of the technology now available, sky’s the limit on what Harry can design. Setting stones is a favorite aspect of his job, and he has furthered his education with specialized training in pave and channel settings.
“I guess it’s the challenge of successfully securing a square peg in a round hole,” he jokes. “But, seriously, I do like staying on top of the industry’s evolution and the ongoing technology changes. I love what I do!”
And it shows.
“I don’t just make jewelry. I make memories,” he explains.
Harry appreciates getting to know his customers (“the best part of the business”) even though some have pushed him to think outside the traditional jewelry box. Per customer requests, he’s designed pendants out of gallstones, lions claws and elk teeth, and was even asked to make a necklace from human teeth. “I’ve got to hand it to Central Minnesotans, they are not afraid to push the envelope in creativity.”
When he’s not at work, this self-professed geek enjoys science fiction, comic books and video games. He likes keeping busy and working with his hands. So naturally, he and his fiancé Megan have just taken on a new hobby—beekeeping. Yes, they’ve added an apiary of five hives and 100,000 bees.
“Whether beekeeping or jewelry making, I am always open to new challenges and creative solutions,” says Harry. “The beekeeper in me enjoys the learning curve of a new hobby, and the artist in me loves making people happy through jewelry.”
When It’s Forever - J. F. Kruse Fine and Custom Jewelers
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