BJL brother, Bill Lenz is a jewelry maker; biker; tattoo enthusiast; bodybuilder and Buffalo boy who comes from a good, hardworking, creative stock in the USA. The former Mr Buffalo Novice 1984 has traveled extensively, from building movie sets in Los Angeles, and working as a bodyguard in the 1990s, to living in Japan for five years and learning about the culture. But back in 1984, he decided he wanted to try his hand at jewelry making.
Without any idea of what it was going to take, he went to a jewelry supply store on Chippewa. He parked his chopper and went upstairs, where one had to be buzzed in, in order to do business. When the man behind the door finally believed the hulking biker was there to do business of the supply buying kind, he let Lenz in. After some back and forth, Lenz managed to order a kit that would allow him to practice the lost wax method of jewelry making. He asked the clerk a few questions and the man told him, "You're talking to the wrong guy. Just a minute."
Picking up the phone, the clerk called a jeweler in the Root Building down the street. "Listen. I'm going to send a guy over who has some questions about jewelry making. You're not going to want to let him in when you see him. But go ahead. He's okay." So Lenz went down Chippewa, up to the 5th floor of the Root, and met an elderly jeweler named Norm Resman. He buzzed Lenz in as advised, and there he was, setting stones, with a table full of diamonds in front of him. Resman listened to what Lenz had to ask about making a ring and gave him a hunk of wax, telling him to carve it to look like what he wanted and then bring it back so he could inspect the work.
Resman encouraged Lenz to refine the piece further after he showed him his first attempt, and when he came back with a better rendition of his design, Resman called another man on the 8th floor, who would do the casting. "Listen," Resman said into the phone, "I'm sending a guy up. You're not going to want to let him in..."
To get the full story, please visit the official Bill Lenz website. Today, Lenz has a complete collection of handmade designs, from skulls to Asian and Native American themed pieces, as well as jewelry for the hardcore. Other than what Lenz designs on his own, he often works with clients to come up with jewelry based on their designs. "It's a lot of what I do," he says. A look around his website gives a good idea of the different materials he works in and his eye for craftsmanship. And if you don't see what you're looking for, ask Lenz to come up with it; he aims to please.