Kretchmer’s route to precious metal and jewelry design and technology followed an unusual path. Initially he tried fishing in Alaska, attended the Rhode Island School of Design, and then worked for a famous jeweler in Italy. He studied and mastered martial arts and earned black belts in three forms. Kretchmer later attended the University of Michigan and earned a master of fine arts degree in the metals program, where he was nicknamed the “mad scientist”. After his formal education, his genius and energy were hard to conceal.