Hans at his jewelry workbench. 2011.

Artist Statement and Bio

Born in Johnson County, Iowa, but raised in the foothills of the Front Range in Colorado, Hans has always drawn artistic inspiration from nature.  As a young man, he discovered how the “Golden Mean” is a ubiquitous template for harmony, offering infinite combinations of order.  Number and proportional relationships seemed the only mathematical concepts this right-brained individual could absorb.

At fourteen, Hans’s father, John R. Rohner, taught him steel engraving, mostly on firearms.  He became quite proficient, but not terribly prolific.  His heart wasn’t really in it.  His interests gravitated more to machining, welding and eventually to a career as a scientific instrument maker and glassblower.  His artistic and creative side, however, has never been far below the surface.
He interrupted his scientific career to study music and art history at the University of Colorado, spending a year at the University of Regensburg as a Rotary Scholar, in what was then West Germany, and became fluent in German.

Once he moved to the mountains near Nederland, CO, he finally built a workshop and studio space.  His gun engraving skills have now morphed into sculpted, inlayed and chased jewelry of various metals.  Hans is intrigued with the various Japanese copper-based alloys including shakudo and shibuishi for their many patina possibilities.

The scientific instrument side he pursues with the study and construction of ancient instruments such as sundials.  Hans is also active as a “Citizen Scientist”, volunteering as a CocoRaHS weather watcher and for the National Phenology Network.  The latter involves frequent nature walks to observe and record stages, sightings and behavior of flora and fauna near his home.

All of Hans’s designs are original, from the unique sculpted pieces, which start as ingots he alloys and forges himself, to his hydraulic press creations, no two of which are repeated, though the die may be the same.

2013_lino5_finished_print.cSince 2013, Hans and his wife Mary Jo have been experimenting with linoleum block printing to create their holiday cards, here are some photos of cards in progress.