MetalRock Designs | Tony Finocchio

Kaleidoscope, Tony Finocchio

Back in the 1980s, he had been living on Catalina Island off the coast of LA, where the sun was always shining. When same old grew old, Tony packed up his belongings and moved to Telluride, arriving Halloween 1990. For awhile (like so many who came before and after), he put bread on his table by working a number of different jobs -- ski lift operator; check-out at Rose's (now Clark's Market); sous chef at the dearly departed Campagna restaurant (for seven years); and finally in liquor sales, before Tony found his calling: metal arts and jewelry design.

That said, becoming a professional artist was in his DNA: Tony's grandmother was a musician; his mother, a painter. Those genes just needed a little encouragement.

Since 2008, Tony has owned and operated MetalRock Designs LLC, a business specializing in one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted mountain lifestyle jewelry designed for the free-spirited -- by the free-spirited.

Each of Tony's pieces are made by hand, one at a time, and are sturdy enough to last generations.

For years the pendants were constructed using a combination of double or triple layers of thick sterling silver, copper, or brass, materials which afford a noticeable, yet comfortable weight, but recently Tony pushed his line into "Mountain Luxury." Now he is also using gold and precious gemstones to create his work.

"My inspiration comes from a passion for rock music and an ever-evolving quest for spirituality. I have spent 28 years in Colorado and the Southwest, during which time I have come to embrace the freedom and potential for growth mountain living offers up everyday. It is a lifestyle that continues to fuel a desire to express myself creatively."

For seven years and counting, Tony Finocchio has been the artist of choice for the world famous Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, producing a handsome, custom-made pendant annually.

In 2018, Tony added teacher to his resume: that summer he began instructing young people in the art of metal-smithing at a studio two blocks northwest of Slate Gray Gallery. That same year, he was commission by Telluride Arts District to create a piece to help with a fundraising campaign for the new Telluride Transfer Warehouse, the emerging heart of the region's cultural corner.

In the best of all possible worlds, where does Tony Finocchio hope to be, say five years from now? His answer boils down to more of the same:

"I will comfortably be creating and teaching art."

Amen to that.