Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jeweler Sean Hagan of Brooksville attracts attention for custom work

BROOKSVILLE — Sean Hagan says he's never seen a picture of a piece of jewelry he couldn't design, customize and craft himself.

Among the hundreds he's made, at least two have gone on to adorn stars.

A Brooksville fan of Criss Angel not long ago commissioned Hagan to design and craft a ring for the famed illusionist, who regularly performs at the Luxor in Las Vegas and on his own TV show.

Hagan watched several of Angel's TV shows, all based on the macabre, to get a feel for the man. Then he went to work at his custom shop called Jewelerman in Brooksville.

The jeweler built a coffin inscribed with an "A" for Angel on its top piece. The coffin lid opens to reveal the handmade letters in rose gold spelling "BELIEVE." Skeletal fingers form the shank.

Just under 2 ounces of gold are in the piece, which is adorned with nearly a carat of diamonds. Hagan calls it one of his most bizarre creations and valued it at $5,000.

Then there's Kid Rock.

After meeting Kid Rock at the 98 RockFest in 2008, Hagan showed his appreciation as a fellow artist.

From tarnish-resistant argentium silver, he created a 3 1/2-inch pendant of the rocker's initials and added outside the semicircular center a "D" to signify the group's home base, Detroit.

"I just felt inspired," said Hagan. "I made it up. It's all hand cut."

Not bad for a man who started his career as a construction worker.

Hagan, now 49, was working in stone, mortar and lumber 13 years ago when a co-worker told him he needed to find a career he could continue in his older years, when his body began to give out.

Growing up in North Dakota, Hagan and his brother were rock hounds. A jump to gemstones seemed a natural.

Hagan enrolled in the Gemology Institute of America in Santa Monica, Calif. "After one day there, I was hooked," he recalled recently.

Hagan spent six months as a student, then apprenticed for five years with a custom jeweler in upstate New York. The owner was so impressed with his new employee's talent and drive that within three years Hagan was promoted to shop foreman.

"The education was the big factor," Hagan acknowledged. His imagination put icing on the cake.

"We get creative around here because that's the way my mind works," he noted of his shop in the South Square Plaza at Cortez Boulevard and U.S. 41.

Before opening the store about three years ago, he worked out of his home, creating pieces and making repairs for other local jewelers.

But Hagan prefers to get to know his customers, interact with them, establish camaraderie, take their sometimes sketchy ideas — possibly no more than the wish for a flashy ring or an unusual necklace — and let his arty mind play on the project.

"We're an old-school store," he said. "(A customer) wants the guy behind the counter to know it all."

At the opening of the shop door, Hagan saunters from his back shop, wearing a heavy canvas apron over jeans, magnifying goggles raised from his eyes to a nest in his hair.

He tells customers about individual stones in a piece, explains their particular cut, why they were chosen for a combination, their carat weight and what kind of gold or silver he's mounted them in. He talks of diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, aquamarines, pearls and tanzanite.

His behind-the-scenes cohort is Wesley Crail, a jewel tradesman who works out of his Spring Hill home cutting rough stones he buys from dealers.

"He can take any stone and find its luster, color, depth,'' Hagan said. "He'll examine a stone, decide how to cut it and go with a bang."

After two years of research, Hagan and Crail collaborated on inventing what they thought was a new technique: the fusion of synthetic stones that results in a multicolored, sometimes layered bauble. But their application for a patent on the technique was denied, no reason given.

That hasn't stopped the duo from creating their eye-catching rainbow works.

An avid biker, Hagan gleefully shows off his creations designed for the Harley-Davidson enthusiast: a manly silver bracelet composed of 100 separate links and pieces, with the Harley insignia, valued at $450; a chunky ring bearing the Harley logo; a similar vest pin.

"I don't like weenie jewelry,'' he said. "I like heavy … to last a lifetime. This a tooth-buster," he said of one. "If it hit you, it would bust your teeth out."

Hagan's most recent and perhaps most novel salute to a biker is a silver pendant in the shape of a motorcycle saddlebag. He calls it a "cash stash," because only the wearer knows that the inch-size pendant opens.

"No one knows there's anything in it," the designer noted. "Fold a $100 bill in there, and even if somebody steals your wallet, you'll still have money." In silver, the piece sells for $35; in gold, $750.

Hagan said custom work amounts to 60 percent of his business. And he is busy, he says, gesturing to a mound of envelopes containing pieces for customer pickup.

He's often asked to fix heirlooms or remount stones in rings. Under the eyes of the customer, he removes the gemstones and hands them to the owner while he makes the repairs or a remount. The customer returns with the gems and, again, under the owner's gaze, Hagan resets them.

"This whole business is built on integrity and trust," he says.

Hagan's philosophy carries to his work room. He has separate benches for crafting gold and silver to ensure a pure product.

"You don't want cross-contamination," he explained.

His work stations are all custom built because he's left-handed.

When he refers to his business as a "mom and pop store," he credits his wife, Beverly, 44.

Said Beverly with a chuckle: "He designs, and I tell him what's wrong with it."

Hagan replied: "She's been the difference in a few pieces."

Beth Gray can be reached at graybethn@earthlink.net.

Jeweler Sean Hagan of Brooksville attracts attention for custom work 01/21/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 8:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Drinking alcohol on St. Pete Beach beaches now allowed — for hotel guests only

    Local Government

    ST. PETE BEACH — Guests at gulf-front hotels here can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas.

    Guests relax on the beach near the Don Cesar at St. Pete Beach. Guests at gulf-front hotels in St. Pete Beach can now drink alcoholic beverages in permitted hotel beach cabana areas after the change was passed unanimously by the City Commission Tuesday night. Residents and other beachgoers who are not registered guests of the hotels continue to be barred from imbibing anywhere on the city's beaches.
  2. Man found floating in 'Cotee River in New Port Richey

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A body was found floating in the Pithlachascotee River on Tuesday morning, police said.

  3. More than 13,000 fact-checks later, PolitiFact celebrates 10-year mark

    National

    ST. PETERSBURG — Bill Adair still remembers the moment when he realized his idea to fact-check politicians could turn into something big.

    (from left to right) Aaron Sharockman, Politifact executive director introduces a panel featuring Angie Holan, Politifact editor; PolitiFact founder Bill Adair and Tampa Bay Times Editor and Vice President Neil Brown at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The event celebrated 10 years of PolitiFact and its growth since 2007. The panel discussed the history of the organization and how it goes about fact-checking. [EVE EDELHEIT | Times]
  4. Trump, McConnell feud threatens GOP agenda

    Politics

    The relationship between President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

    Sen. Mitch McConnell has fumed over Trump’s criticism.
  5. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]