Butkovich enjoys participating in the Arts Festival | ParkRecord.com

Butkovich enjoys participating in the Arts Festival

Local jeweler always seeking inspiration

Park City Professional Artists Association members in this year's Park City Kimball Arts Festival Courtesy of the Park City Professional Artists Association
  • Ceramics Mike Hays Bruce Larrabee Jim Simister
  • Fiber Naomi Doyle
  • Jewelry Ron Butkovich Lisa Carlson Michael Mcrae
  • Mixed Media Felix Saez
  • Painting Robert Johnson Jenny Terry
  • Photography Richard Pick Willie Holdman Michael Mcrae
  • Drawing Fred Montague
  • Printmaking Fred Montague

Park City Jeweler Ronald Butkovich of RSB Design has participated in the Park City Kimball Arts Festival for many years.

“I think I’ve been lucky enough to be juried in for the past 25 years, but I try not to count, because that’s very trying,” laughed Butkovich, who is a member of the Park City Professional Artists Association, a nonprofit that promotes local art and artists in the community. “I’m afraid that since I’ve done it so many times that they won’t let me in anymore. You know, with it being more popular every year, it’s harder to get in.”

The jeweler’s mediums of choice include mixed metals — gold, silver and platinum — and an array of other organic and precious items.

“I also use leather and diamonds and other gems and stones like topaz and rubies,” he said. “Right now, I’m doing stuff with silver, deer and elk antler, and different charms and stones, as well as aspen branches.”

Butkovich began handcrafting jewelry while he was in college.

“I have a humanities degree and two minors,” he said. “I started in fine arts and ended up in interior design.”

Ironically, Butkovich failed his only class in jewelry.

“The professor told me that I was cheating, and I told him off,” Butkovich said with another laugh. “I had been apprenticing for five years with a jeweler here in Park City. So I did twice as much work, and we were making all of the stuff hippies did with muffler pipes and stuff. I guess now, that’s what I do. I make hippie [stuff].”

Throughout the years, Butkovich’s creations have evolved.

“They used to be more tighter and the rings used to have bigger settings,” he said. “I think my stuff now is more out there, more free and casual, even though a lot of my commissioned work is more traditional.

“In both cases, I come up with a a vision of what I want to do. Sometimes I make it simple, and the other times the intent is to make it crazy.”

Although Butkovich’s works have changed and evolved over the years, the challenge remains the same.

“I make jewelry, and I try to make something new and different that people want to buy,” he said. “It’s handcrafted design, and I try to do something that sparks someone’s fancy or makes them giggle.”

To do that, he’s always on the hunt for inspiration.

“I look for it in the garden or other places,” he said. “Last night I went to the Li’l Smokies concert at O.P. Rockwell, and the inspiration came from the amount of Jack Daniels I was drinking.”

Butkovich alluded to the idea that he works best under pressure.

“I look at my materials and see that I have nothing done, yet, and there are only 14 days until the festival,” he said at the time of the interview. “We’re going to be digging deep for the next two weeks.”

Once Butkovich gets started, however, he has a hard time stopping.

“You’re juried into the festival with a select group of photographs, so you have to build on top of that,” he said.

Butkovich’s booth at the Park City Kimball Arts Festival has also changed over the years.

“These days, I get things set up and try to focus and coordinate,” he said laughing. “ I just put out a couple of tables and racks, so I didn’t have a booth to hide in or a counter for space.

“When I look at other booths, they are set up and mine looks like a flea market, but that’s great because people can touch my stuff. This makes it more engaging.”

Butkovich enjoys meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends and clients while at the festival.

“I think, thought, that the real reward comes after the festival is over,” he said. “When I get home after the festival, I feel inspired.

“You always meet people who tell me how much they love a piece, and you never know just what will strike people’s fancy. It’s still fun. It’s still entertaining, and I am so grateful to still be part of it.”

The 48th Park City Kimball Arts Festival, sponsored by Zions Bank, will run Friday, Aug. 4, to Sunday, Aug. 6, on historic Main Street. Friday’s hours are from 5-9 p.m., and Park City and Summit County residents will be admitted for free. Saturday’s hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Adult weekend passes are $12. Passes for children ages 6 to 17 are $6. Children ages 5 and younger will be admitted for free. For information, visit http://www.parkcitykimballartsfestival.org.