Friday, April 20, 2012

Major Gold Lust...An Interview With Gurhan!

Gurhan: 24 Karat Inspiration

Invention & Enchantment

Rings Inspired by Sunset over the Bosphorous

In the early 1990's, CJDG Member Gurhan Orhan visited Istanbul in his native Turkey and was handed a sheet of pure 24-karat gold. "In a single moment my future became clear; I would create fine jewelry using this unique material. And here I am." We caught up with this internationally renowned jeweler for a conversation on his life, work, and new 4/24 Collection.
Q: Which celebrities wear your jewelry? And for which fabulous Hollywood events?
Gurhan: Many celebrities have been adorned with my jewelry on the red carpet, on screen and in their everyday lives. There's something about an armful of GURHAN bangles that celebrities just can't get enough of. Angelina Jolie, Gwen Stefani, Rachael Ray, Sandra Bullock, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Megan Fox, and Queen Raina of Jordan all embrace GURHAN. The list goes on and on!

Gurhan in his Garden

Q: Where do you find the inspiration for your work?
Gurhan: I find my inspiration everywhere -- from a woman on the street to nature to music and art. More than anything, I find inspiration in solitude. I am very lucky to have a wife who understands that my times of silence fuel my creativity. She is naturally talkative (very!) but has come to understand that it is in the peace of our garden or in the wilds of our adventure trips or in the moments when I am immersed in a great Clapton guitar solo, that I find my muse. For example, many of the designs in the Pandora collection came from an inspiring sunset viewed from my Istanbul apartment window overlooking the legendary Bosphorous and all its sea traffic.
View of the Bosphorous from the Gurhan Apartment in Istanbul

Q: Tell us about your new 4/24 collection. Where did you get the inspiration for the alloy for this line?
Gurhan: I love challenges. The notion that pure 24 karat gold was too soft to be used in jewelry was one of the first things that inspired me to create my signature designs. That passion has been translated into my designs in platinum, silver, bronze and now culminates with the introduction of the new GURHAN 4/24 Line. I approach each design as a problem to be solved. Inspired by my desire to tackle the delicate and precise setting of diamonds in my creations led me to create a fine 4 karat gold exo-skeleton. It was an alloy originally developed by the early Ottomans.

Floating Diamonds from 4/24
Q: Can you describe
the floating diamond stone-setting technique?
Gurhan: With the structural integrity of this metal, I can set the tiniest of diamonds. The diamonds are set in a proprietary new method that allows them to float on the gold frame, unencumbered by prongs or bezels. White diamonds set in the delicious milk-chocolate tones of 4 karat gold combined with the luster of pure 24 karat gold create a line that radiates elegance.
Q: Where did you get the inspiration for the Capitone line which launched the new collection?
Gurhan: The inaugural 4/24 Collection, Capitone, echoes the luscious tufts of Victorian boudoir furniture and provokes images of finery, decadence and romance.
Q: Is there a new development in the works for the 4/24 line? Can you give us any insight into what your inspiration might be for that?
Gurhan: Only one thing is sure -- it will be something magnificent that will not only delight today's customer but will enchant generations to come!
Q: What do you like the most about designing jewelry?
Gurhan: I love designing one of-a-kind pieces. I take pride in the purity of my vision and craft. I ensure that this vision is evident in each individual piece, much like artwork.

24K Gold
Q: What experience from your past shaped your desire to create beautiful jewelry?

Gurhan: In the early 90's I went to visit Istanbul, forever changing the course of my life. I was handed a sheet of pure 24k gold that I still have! I was immediately drawn to its warmth and sensuality. In a single moment my future became clear; I would create fine jewelry using this unique material. And here I am.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside of jewelry design?
Gurhan: I enjoy taking photographs. I started studying photography, initially out of the desire to shoot my own jewelry, but have since developed a passion for it. I have this incredible lens that weighs a ton but I don't go anywhere without it now.

Bracelets from The Metropolitan Collection

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?
Gurhan: One of my proudest moments was being chosen to design a collection for The Metropolitan Museum of Art to commemorate the exhibition Afghanistan: Hidden treasures from the National Museum, Kabul. This was so special to me because the very source of my technique is the craft of the ancient goldsmiths and this exhibition was the pinnacle of the period in which those masters lived.

We thank Gurhan for taking the time to answer our questions and we wish him the best of luck!
You can visit Gurhan's website to learn more about this master of 21st century jewelry design.
-CJDG Editorial

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