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tod pardon: a body of work

For quite some time I’ve wanted to write about Tod Pardon and the influence his father, jewelry artist Earl Pardon, had on him as an artist.  I discovered the younger Pardon’s jewelry in late 2006 when this blog was in its infancy and made several attempts to write a post, but none satisfied me.  Recently I was surprised when I realized what was really holding me back and it had little to do with Tod’s glorious, celebratory, exciting and beautifully executed work.



Todd Pardon, brooch

When I write a post the images fuel my writing.  I study the artist’s pictures, referring to them over and over as I write –  in this case I studied both Tod’s and Earl’s jewelry.  In the late 1980’s Tod became a full time studio assistant for his father, until Earl’s death in 1991.  While it is clear that Tod learned a great deal from the man known as the “grandfather of craft jewelers” it is also clear that a passion for African art, music and humor have colored Tod’s artistic journey.


Todd Pardon, brooch

In Tod Pardon’s extensive body of work you see skills and talent that were nurtured by the older, renowned jewelry artist and you see that Tod embraced what he learned from his father, but perhaps most importantly you quickly realize that he rose above what he was taught, finding the space where his own voice could be heard.  Pardon uses sterling silver, 14-22k gold, pearls, inlays of wood, bone, unfired enamel, plastic and a variety of other materials to bring his figurative brooches to life.  And they are full of life – patterns that dance, colors that shout, shapes that sing.


Todd Pardon, brooch

Looking back, I can see that I was still grieving my own father’s death when I discovered the Pardons’ work and my feelings about his influence on me is the sensitive nerve that I touched each time I tried to write this post.  Earl Pardon’s influence on his son is evident, but the overall effect of that influence is subtle, quiet, secondary.  It is the best kind of impact a parent can make on a child.  It is the kind of influence my father had on me.


Earl Pardon, brooch


In addition to his website, Todd Pardon’s jewelry can be found on crafthaus and at the Patina Gallery.  Take your time – he has a large body of work – each piece surprises and no piece disappoints.

Find more photos like this on crafthaus

“Within the humorous setting of strange brightly colored figurative pieces the duality of the human condition and its inherent anxiety are portrayed. Without humor the anxiety we face cannot really be interpreted; without darkness, we can’t see light.”


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8 Responses to tod pardon: a body of work

  1. I love the art work, it is very much inline with my personal style. But it was the story behind Tod’s work and your own that touched my heart.
    I have spent the last month talking with my students about inspiration and this article is perfect example how we can be inspired by others and make something that is truly our own.

  2. Todd’s work is brilliant. I’ve admired his father’s work, but this blows me away. There is a joy and a fearlessness which stops me dead in my tracks. Susan, you’ve given me a lot to think about today…both you and Todd. Tx

  3. A student In my class yesterday was wearing a beautiful Bracelet. I asked her about it and she said it was a piece by Earl Pardon. I was not very familiar with his work. Now today I read all about Earl and his son Todd. Wow! how the universe works!

    Thanks again Susan. As always, on the pulse of the Universe!

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