Norm Saunders was a carpenter in Malibu, California in the
sixties. He traveled to Indian reservations in the Southwest United
States with a friend of his who was a silversmith. This friend
agreed to teach him, and both were influenced by the work they
saw on the reservations.
the beginning, Norm has used Tuffa stone casting, sandcasting,
and more recently some lost wax process for his designs. He is
known for his hand wrought benchwork and original designs utilizing
sterling silver, gemstones and leather. He describes silver as
an exciting and fascinating metal. He prefers silver to other
metals because of the way that it offsets the beauty of the gemstones.
the mid-seventies, influenced by the back to the land movement,
he converted an old school bus into a mobile home. He lived in
the bus for two years, while he searched the Northwest for a place
to settle. Sandpoint Idaho was the place of his dreams. He married
his wife, Brenda, and in 1977 paid $100 as a down payment on some
forest land. He built a cabin, purchased a large boat, and rebuilt
it with the intention of sailing it with Brenda to Alaska. Plans
changed. They sold the boat and decided to use the money to finance
his longtime dream of opening his own shop. He and Brenda spent
two years, with their two baby girls in a cabin with no electricity
or running water, while Norm created a large stock of sterling
silver and gemstone jewelry.
1983 he opened Songbird Silverworks, stocking it with the jewelry
and leatherwork he had made for the previous two years. In 1999
he sold the store to the present owners so that he could "go back
to the bench" fulltime. We at Songbird Silverworks continue to
feature the jewelry of Norm Saunders.