GEM ART

The crystals become my muse.

Art is but a short chapter in the Book of Creativity.  And an artist is one who inspires him- or herself and others to perceive and conceive anew.

Where is the line drawn between what is nature and what is art?  Webster’s defines “nature” as the external world in its entirety, a creative and controlling force in the universe, and “art” as human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature. How does a mineral go from being perceived as a rock to being appreciated as art? Is Michelangelo’s David a piece of marble or a man?

The painter puts a brush to flat canvas, raising an illusion from paint. The sculptor forms an object using the movement and dimensions of its opaque surfaces to define its image. Nature’s divine intelligence spent aeons in the formative engineering of the atomically brilliant rare-earth gemstone. The stone’s transparency offers an added visual dimension of vibrancy and depth found only in gem art. Not only are the outer surfaces of the piece defining space, but the interior of the transparent crystal opens a portal to a magical “otherworld.” At its essence, the art is the shaping of light.

Art is a transaction—something given, something received. I want art to transport me somewhere, to flip on an emotional circuit, connecting me to a place I have never been. The art and I, face-to-face, locked in an encounter that changes the from now on, even if but for a moment.

The most powerful art combines beauty with meaning, transforming the observer into a participant.

I often come across a crystal that has been badly broken, hammered by time and circumstance, reconfigured from its millions-of-years-old, hexagonal crystal shape. I allow its cleaved body to guide me in the grinding transformation from fractured chunk of stone into an object designed to capture, transport, and release the engines of imagination.

The impact of my work hinges on the size of the stone. A gemstone measured in millimeters and carats is too small for my eye to explore and get lost in. A small gem will dazzle and sparkle light. But if I cannot gain entry without a magnifying device, I am unable to know who really lives in there. I prefer to work with crystals that have volume, whose interiors tell a story of a world I have never known.

The crystal directs the design. I follow its edges, breaks, and contours, grinding free the least amount of gem material possible to create an outer shape of balanced harmony. The journey is an adventure, and an adventure has spontaneous moments of excitement, sandwiched between hours of anticipation and concentration. While moving edges on the flat diamond lap wheel, I search the horizon for an outline to emerge that shouts land ho! I’m looking for a shape that inspires the commitment to set sail, navigating for countless hours of focused, detailed attention, rubbing back frosted surfaces, beckoning the internal light to escape. But the outer profile is only the vessel that carries the inner cargo of the work. There is buried treasure to be found. The light within the crystal has a quality that is ancient, authentic, penetrating, pure. By faceting the exact degree of angle, an exterior face bends the internal light to reflect and refract in vibrant ways. It projects the art into the eye, beyond the brain, to the heart and emotional homeland. Emotion creates dimensionality. Without emotion, I can sail right off the edge of the sculpture. Without emotion, the world really is flat.

Art is my way of imitating Nature’s godly presence, a way for me to put my fingers in the socket, to be jolted by the primal current of perpetually flowing creativity. As an artist, I don’t need to accept any conclusions; I don’t need to convince anybody of anything.

crystalworks.com

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