Full Circle

June 1998

Gemstones & Pearls:News

Full Circle

Glen Lehrer and Paul Klecka join forces to create a deceptively simple jewelry design

Gem carver Glenn Lehrer and jewelry designer Paul Klecka are presenting a brand-new jewel this month - the optically delightful Mini Signature Sequence Floater. It's a product that combines decades of experience in gem carving and jewelry, yet remains surprisingly simple and open in its design. This jewel features a 1.31-ct. Montana orange/ yellow Torus Ring sapphire and 0.36 carat of Ideal-proportioned diamonds. The suggested retail for this piece is $5,580, says Klecka, and the jewelry can be reproduced in varying sizes and with a choice of center gemstones.

What's particularly unusual about the Mini Signature Sequence Floater is that it epitomizes the harmony between two artistic minds: a triumph over working in isolation. Klecka and Lehrer conceived the idea at AGTA's GemFair a year ago following a "brainstorming session" the two artists had in the "By Design" jewelry section. Joint ventures such as this between award-winning cutters and designers are becoming increasingly popular.

The combination of genius is apparent in the gem's setting, which fools the eye. The sapphire appears perched above a row of diamonds by sheer willpower. "It is a compelling presentation of the central stone, where there is a delicious conflict regarding the positive and negative space," says Klecka, who won a De Beers award in 1989 for a similar "floating diamond" concept. Similarly, Lehrer's own use of space with the Torus carving invites parallels. "It all comes together in the pool platinum reflector which lies beneath," says Klecka.

For Spectrum and Cutting Edge award-winner Lehrer, cutting Torus Ring carvings brings him full circle. "As a starving artist in the 1970s I got involved with Chinese jade carvings called 'Pi,' which were a central element to the culture," recalls Lehrer. What emerged over a decade later was Lehrer's line of Torus rings, based on the Pi concept. Lehrer uses a variety of gemstones, including quartz, garnet and topaz. But it was the tabular, flat crystals of sapphire obtained from Montana's sapphire mines that lent themselves perfectly to Lehrer's disk-like carvings. "Glenn gets a 60% to 80% yield from the crystals," says Klecka.

Paul Klecka Inc., Chicago IL 60603-3300; (312) 726-0225, fax (312) 726-4122.

Glenn Lehrer Designs, San Rafael, CA 94915-0381; (415) 461-2212, fax (415)-461-8252.

by Robert Weldon, G.G.

Glenn Lehrer and Paul Klecka combined their talents to create the Mini Signature Sequence Floater.




Pairing Off

While cooperation between jewelry artists is entering a renaissance as we reach the turn of the century, many are hesitant about how to proceed. Klecka and Lehrer have advice for gem cutters and retailers or manufacturers seeking to join forces:

  • Look for artists whose vision parallels yours.
  • Define responsibilities.
  • The individual work of both artists should stand on its own merits.
  • Work out in advance how you will market the new piece and any financial technicalities.
  • Be prepared to "partner" on expensive raw materials.
  • Make the necessary financial commitment.
  • Be sure to protect your mutual ideas with a patent and/or copyright.
  • Be prepared to wait for several years before the piece becomes accepted.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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