One winter when there was a particularly deep snowfall in Florence the Medici asked Michelangelo to design and build a snow sculpture. I think of this Topaz faceted by me as a “ball joint” in that sculpture. It is also an architectural model for the central piazza of Michelangelo's Campidoglio or Capitoline Hill. It was here the she wolf nursed Romulus and Remus in the founding of Rome
My friend Ben asked me to create an heirloom for his wife and their two young daughters. The resulting ChartGem is made up of symbols representing their family.Read more
My friend Ben asked me to create an heirloom for his wife and their two young daughters. The resulting ChartGem is made up of symbols representing their family. I chose birthstones of the parents, amethyst and sapphire, and used them for the materials of the ChartGem.
The faceting design of the ChartGem is based on the star charts of the two daughters. Star Charts are generated by recording the minute a person is born along with the longitude and latitude where they are born. From this an astrologist can discern what is happening between the planets, the heavens, from that place in time.
Once a star chart is generated, one can predict portions or proclivities of a person’s life. The ChartGem is therefore encoded. I like to use a fictional example that from the ChartGem an astrologist may discern that the younger daughter, Anita, will grow up and discover new varieties of arachnids in the Amazon.
A goal of the ChartGem was to create a gem that was made for my client and no one else. Additionally I wanted to provide a jewel for Ben to give to Audrey with a specific function. I believe that at their core gems are vessels perfectly designed to contain meaning. We store our emotions in jewels.
We project our sentiments into them to turn over, mull over, as we turn over the jewels themselves. I envision Audrey—when Rebecca gets her driver’s license, when Rebecca goes off to college, when Anita goes to the Amazon—taking her gem and turning it over and over as she turns her thoughts. The ChartGem is a gem of projections. It is a crystal ball of comfort.
Cartier’s Patiala Necklace dates to 1928. It is the most extravagant necklace the jewelry house ever created. Amongst other diamonds and rubies it is set with the DeBeers Diamond weighing 234.6 carats. Eric Nussbaum, the head of the Cartier Archives, commissioned me to replace the missing gems with copies when the necklace was renovated