Crystals love light. They respond to light like the night sky yearns for the sunrise. Interesting to think that crystals, for most of their existence, have been buried in absolute darkness. Perhaps this is why they radiate a type of joy when illuminated.

Around 3500 B.C., civilizations in western Asia, Egypt, and Europe transitioned from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age by developing the ability to forge bronze into useful shapes, tools, and, eventually, sculpture, some of which endure to this day. My art has experienced a progression from stone into bronze as well.

Many of the crystals lying on my desk, a table, or shelves are greatly enhanced when mounted on a complementary base. In my early days as a crystal cutter, I had no interest in doing bases, though whenever I put a crystal to light, the full majesty of its interior ignited. It may have something to do with the polarity of the two media: minerals are among the densest matter on earth, and visible light among the “lightest” waveforms in the universe. When light enters the dense but transparent gemstone, substance and illumination collide, oscillate, and integrate all at once. By beaming a halogen light into the crystal, it appears bigger, more articulated, more alive. Directing light into a crystal or gem is comparable to when we humans feel joy. Looking into the illuminated crystal is like getting to know who someone really is, as opposed to having only a first impression. The light reveals who lives inside.

And so, getting light into the crystal has become an important feature of my work. Initially, I bought generic light boxes for this purpose. These bases were not very attractive, but they functioned well enough. I felt that the finer crystals were begging for their own lighted pedestals, so I set about making bases of fine wood.
Eventually, I started working with bronze and enlisted the talents of my brother Roger in creating my first bronze light-bases. By creating a form in wax and then casting it in bronze (the lost-wax method), I can accomplish shapes and forms that fit the size, contours, character, and textures of a particular crystal. Some sculptures are fabricated, welded together with sheet bronze. Bronze is a regal and bold metal that carries a patina of antiquity. Whether casting or fabricating, I work closely with foundry artists Peter W. Small and Roy Swan, who craft and forge the metal around the personality of the sculpture.

I’ve surrendered to the idea that most of the significant crystals I work with require high quality basing to light and enhance their forms. Compelled to attain greater articulation and integration between the stone and the base, I found myself setting crystals in sculpture.

And as I embraced the process, magic began to happen.

A jeweler sets a stone in gold or silver, thus creating jewelry. I set my gems in bronze as sculpture, a kind of unwearable jewelry. And thus the transition from being a lapidary to being an artist, a gem artist, truly began.
With some crystals, the metalwork and the addition of light “complete” the stone; the sculpture becomes a synergy, visually and energetically more powerful than the individual components.

Not only do crystals look good set on a fitted bronze base glowing from an internal light, but they also seem to have an intangible quality of being more animated, as if they are reaching out to touch, to make contact.

Bronze is an alloy, mostly composed of copper, a highly conductive metal used as an electrical conduit. Energetically, the conductive bronze and the piezoelectric (lighted) quartz stimulate one another to create a vibrational vortex, or standing wave of resonance.

Some may call it beauty.
I call them Harmonic Resonating Sculptures.

Custom Bronze Light Bases

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