Jerry Morales, a man of music and creativity; a talented engraver and family man. His career in engraving all began while teaching guitar in a music store and working part time in an instrument repair shop in downtown San Antonio. He had many tasks there from restringing instruments, set ups to repairing electronics. Having access to various shop tools and learning about sharpening the edge of blades, chisels and scrapers slowly by hand from head of guitar tech, Casey Jones; Jerry began to familiarize himself with said tools. Having devotion for music, Jerry became curious, only to begin creating picks out of coins in his down time…
As a guitar player and new husband, priorities and employment changed. Time went on, responsibilities and obligations grew, pushing Jerry to start creating more guitar picks to sell on eBay, rather than keeping them all for his personal use. He would make coin picks from coinage all around the world, but one day stumbled upon something incredible… Skull engravings on coins! In his mild astonishment, he realized that others were literally defacing coinage to skeletonize their facial features. It was mind-bending to him that some artists were replacing the minted images with their very own. Thanks to the wealth of information available on Facebook in previous posts from the coin carving and engraving communities, he was able to increase his appreciation for the skill of tooling and it added fuel to the dimly lit flame inside him for pursuing coin carving and he fell in love with the skeleton style himself. Seeing the vast selection of skull carvings in the eBay market, it almost seemed to be the cliche thing to do to make money quickly, but that did not hinder his joy for engraving. Jerry is continuously experimenting and sharpening his skills, he is currently starting to dabble in more than just skull influenced carvings, he has branched out to different subjects such as different objects and faces.
“With a little research and digging on the Internet, I’m sure I ended up where all eager newbies end up, the YouTube videos of the great Shaun Hughes; full of tips, tricks and DIY how-to goodness.” – Jerry Morales
“ I am very grateful for everything Shaun Hughes has freely shared as well as the experienced carvers/engravers on Facebook, without them I would probably given up after a handful more crude skull carvings.” – Jerry Morales
Late at night when his family sleeps, Jerry will spend his time doing all of his coin related tasks. Typically, a few hours after that he will wake up and head off to his day job at the county medical examiner’s office. (The morgue) His commitment to the hobby is very clear, and by the immense skill that he possess it is only excitement we feel to see what he will create next. Jerry Morales started taking progress photos so anyone interested in this hobby can see the steps it takes to make one of his coins. He was influenced greatly by Shaun Hughes’s how-to/DIY attitude to share with everyone interested. Jerry welcomes questions about carving on his Facebook posts and is more than happy to help out those in need. There are many active carvers also producing skull conversions or skull/death related themed coins, so there is plenty of knowledge and tips to go around. Support is a huge part of this hobby, and like anything else in life… The more support and familiarity you have in something, the better you become.
Thank you for sharing your story Jerry, your work is inspiring!