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Motion in Stone a Captivating Paradox


Written by: Ploh Blog

Considered a luxury art form in the ancient world and a demanding craft that takes many years of experience to master, gem carving is also known as hardstone carving or pietre dure in Italian. While in the past gem carvers typically produce engraved vessels or seals, contemporary artists today fashion inspiring sculptures out of gemstones.

We explore two distinct styles of gem carving – one belonging to the world of old luxuries with rich history behind it, and another showcasing the best of contemporary arts.

One of the world’s finest contemporary gemstone carvers and jewelry designers, Naomi Sarna has won numerous awards for her creations.

Her award-winning Tanzanite carving named “L’Heure Bleu” won first place in the 2013 AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) Spectrum Awards. Carved out of 275 carats rough tanzanite, the piece was inspired by Sarna’s trip to Tanzania back in 2012 where she visited the TanzaniteOne mine.

Sarna’s pieces are notable for their movement and flow. Fascinated by drapery in classical sculptures and renaissance paintings since she was an art student, Sarna likes to carve long, sensuous lines into gemstones as if imitating flowing fabric. At the same time these lines refract light in a way that shows off the stone’s best qualities.

However Sarna seeks more than simply creating sculptures out of gemstones. She looks to achieve balance and harmony between her creation and the wearer. As she said: “A true jewel is one that once removed leaves its imprint, its memory, where it was, where it was meant to be.”

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