Monday, July 19, 2010

George Sawyer: A peek into the artist's world

“I didn’t have a conventional education in jewelry design. I was a Humanities Major at the University of Minnesota. With a liberal arts program that combined literature, art history and the sciences, the Humanities Department’s goal was to produce well-rounded graduates in the Renaissance ideal. Most employers didn’t share this interest, so I decided to pursue one of my extracurricular interests – fast cars.”

“I had the good fortune to get a job at Kar Kraft, a small firm in Detroit that designed and built some of the most famous racing cars of the era. There, I was able to learn about metalworking from some of the most talented metalworkers in the world. As a diversion, I took an evening course in jewelry and my diversion soon became my passion. I sold my racing car to finance tools and time and began my life as a jewelry designer”

George Sawyer’s pieces are one-of- a-kind pieces in every sense. Made by one Master Goldsmith from beginning to end, each one bearing their initials along with George’s signature and the date the piece was produced. His work is made to be worn for a lifetime.

Over 1000 years ago, Japanese Swordsmiths developed a method of folding and forging handmade steel over and over into a multi-thousand layer swordblade. The pattern resembled a type of wood grain pattern in the blade called “Mokume”. George Sawyer’s signature patterned metalwork designs were inspired by this ancient craft. Think of it as Michelangelo meets “Kill Bill”. Mirror image bands are available in any mix of styles and sizes.

Mirror image slices are used to make matched sets of engagement and wedding rings. Since the matching slices can be made into a variety of shape and width combinations, couples can choose ring sets that are pattern matched and made only for them, as unique as fingerprints. Perfectly symmetrical, couples wear rings that not only match each other, but essentially are each other. The reflection of one is the other.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Love - Platinum by Barbara Heinrich

Meet Arun Bohra of Arunashi

A native of Jaipur, India, Arun Bohra was destined to design and make jewelry. He is the eighth generation of a family that has been in the jewelry business since 1841, creating exquisite, elaborately detailed pieces for Indian royalty. Arun draws on the rich heritage of both his family and his culture in creating his own signature line of 22K gold and gemstone jewelry. As he describes it, “Being in the jewelry business is as natural to me as breathing”. Arun began his professional career as a gemstone dealer, where he enjoyed the challenge of finding rare, beautiful stones. However, after several years, a desire to exercise his creative side as well brought him to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Carlsbad, where he studied Jewelry Design and Manufacturing, and completed the program as a Graduate Jeweler (G. J).

In 2004, Arun and his Wife, Ashita, combined their names, talents and experience to create their own line of jewelry, Arunashi. Hand crafted in his family’s Jaipur studio, Arun’s designs are created with painstaking attention to detail and comprised of luxurious 22K gold, brilliantly hued gemstones, and more recently, oxidized white gold.

His inspiration comes from diverse sources, including the Mogul-era jewelry making traditions and techniques of his native India, the elaborate, painterly interpretations of nature from the Art Nouveau period, and last but not least, his wife Ashita, who embodies the characteristics of his ideal woman: beautiful, intelligent and balanced, all qualities that are present in his jewelry collections.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Meet Heather B. Moore:

Heather grew up in a busy household with her mom, a science teacher and natural history maiden, who would bring home raccoons to care for and love! Her father, a young entrepreneur and workaholic, was always coming up with products for the car industry in their kitchen. His first big job was for Ford; he had to hire 10 babysitters around the neighborhood to get the job done in the living room. Her parents always taught her to think outside the box.

"We went to garage sales from the very beginning. In an old steel mill town like Cleveland, you are always bound to find something useful. When I was 13, I found a tool we still use in the shop to this day (and every day, actually), my first stamp set from the late 1800s. I would carry that set around for the next 20 years before actually using it."

Heather B. Moore Inc. was established in 1994 with Heather designing a number of different collections over the past 14 years. Heather is constantly challenging herself, which is reflected in her evolving style of jewelry design. This personalized collection was inspired by a wedding ring Heather made in 2000. The ring had two tags, both with Heather and Thomas’s names on them. In order to compliment the ring, she created a necklace with her four children’s names. This is the finest personalized collection on the market, which is apparent by comparing the weight, craftsmanship, and overall design of the charms.

The studio, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is filled with a number of mastered craftspeople, most recent graduates from acclaimed colleges around the country who make the pieces from start to finish. The designs are all made using precious metals of sterling silver and a rainbow of 14k golds: yellow, white, green and rose. The quality of the jewelry is apparent at first sight.

This new collection is not about impulse buy jewelry; it’s about your life, documenting all that is important and remembering what shaped you and who, where and why. Learning about people’s lives every day is inspiring, hearing stories about joy, sadness, laughter, and all of the above. Everyone has something special in his or her life to acknowledge or celebrate. Heather turns everyday jewelry into treasured timepieces that are worn and collected for a lifetime.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Meet Tom Munsteiner:

Tom learned to cut and polish gems literally on the knee of his father and grandfather. A fourth generation gem cutter, Tom Munsteiner first learned the skills which he would need to successfully cut and polish gems into the classical faceted cuts, before learning the special incisions required for the geometric cuts that his father pioneered. Tom Munsteiner has taken his skills on a path towards his own style, however, and has earned a reputation as a master gem cutter in his own right.

Tom inherited a keen sense of color and form from his father. Yet the young Munsteiner has also developed his own philosophy and style of shaping precious stones. His work is more understated than the frequently jagged cuts of his father, and the cuts don't follow the natural features of the stone quite as much. He often cuts hemispherical recesses in the back of geometrical designs, such as circles or squares. The combination of spherical forms with prisms and basic geometric forms provides designs that are not necessarily hard and angular but may be soft and organic. Using his expert knowledge of optical laws for crystals, Tom creates refractions and reflections, which produce mystical three-dimensional plays of color and light.

Crystals, the reflecting play of light its inherent structures, are fascinating testimonies of nature to Tom Munsteiner, which lead him to a formal expression in the cut which is incomparably rich in variation. The crystal is not just dead stone to him; the crystal, which looks at him through its reflection of light as it were, leads an independent existence at the threshold between inanimate and animated nature like something organic. This is the reason why Tom Munsteiner combines clean cuts in the material, geometric figures, such as prisms and circles, testimonies of internal constructivist architecture of the stone, with spherical, organically soft round forms.

Once the gemstone meets Tom's exacting requirements, it is handed over to his wife, Jutta, a trained goldsmith, who 'envelops' the stone in a creative wrapping. Like her husband and father-in-law, Jutta also refuses to be guided by conventional wisdom when it comes to jewelry making. When deciding on a material and a support for the gemstone, she takes into consideration its uniqueness and character instead of merely making a frame for it. With her geometric and sometimes asymmetrical designs, Jutta adds to the magical aura of these extraordinary stones. With a preference for the coolness of platinum and the warmth of yellow gold, she is the perfect designer for the Munsteiner creations.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Introducing Tom Munsteiner!


Jeweler Maria Beaulieu has a keen eye for rock collecting. “For me, it’s all about the stones,” says the Maine native. “I find inspiration in everything from 123kt aquamarines to Argentinian agates to tumbled beach pebbles. I try to find the most exquisite specimens and then set them with just enough gold to highlight their natural beauty.”
Beaulieu has been making jewelry since she moved to New York in 1990. After working as a production assistant for Ted Muehling for 9 years, she started her own collection.

“I try to find the most exquisite specimens and then set them with just enough gold to highlight their natural beauty,” says Maria Beaulieu. In practice, this means a collection of breathtaking rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Brazilian amethysts, golden heliodor beryls, Burmese moonstones, dazzling spinels in shades from light peach to ruby reds and royal blues, pale pink morganites, and many other gemstones are presented in refined, minimal settings.
The combination of exquisite stone and refined settings adds up to a collection of breathtaking rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
“I strive for simplicity and elegance in my work,” says Beaulieu. “I want my work to complement the person wearing it. I like the idea of creating a piece of jewelry and letting it out into the world to become part of another’s life. Ultimately, I’d like to share the beauty of the gems I discover with other people.”