By Ashley Bailey
, Thursday, April 19, 2007
From GIA, Carlsbad, Calif. - The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) offered the second address in its 2007 Museum Lecture series, “A Synergy of Art and Science,” on Wednesday, April 3. This special presentation featured award-winning jewelry designer Marianne Hunter, who shared how her techniques combine a variety of materials to create an “Inspirational Interplay: The Collaboration of Arts and Materials.”
This necklace was created by Marianne Hunter with a combination of enamels and natural gem materials. Gift of Marianne Hunter in memory of Sammie Dunn.
“Marianne’s pieces incorporate gemstones, enamel and precious metals with poetry and symbolism that her fans say bring out people’s emotions, imaginations and even inspiration,” said Elise Misiorowski, director of the GIA Museum.
Hunter says her defining moment in life was when she was given a hobby enameling kit after high school. Largely self-taught, she learned the enameling process, metalsmithing, and, through experimentation, came up with techniques of her own.
She says each piece is a story she tells herself while she works. She begins the design process by searching for the theme, and the inspiration can come from anywhere: a gem, a personal experience, a careful study, or the flash of an idea. The sustaining theme is always to articulate the beauty, mystery and benevolence of the world.
Her work includes three to five firings of black enamel over copper or silver for the background, which is then built up and fired with very thin layers of enamels. A piece is finished using very fine mesh of white enamel over black, then colored foils, and more transparent enamels. Additional layers of enamels and foils are built and fired until the full range of desired color, shading and detail is achieved. One completed piece can require from 12 to more than 100 firings.
Each piece is unique and is completed with an engraving of its title, individual number, date and Hunter’s signature. A poem written especially for the piece is etched on the back of the item as well. Each piece is registered to its owner.
Marianne Hunter wearing one of her pieces.
Hunter’s work is on display in several museums in the U.S. (including the Smithsonian), Canada, and Japan and has graced numerous books, including the Art of Fine Enameling and Art Jewelry Today.
Both presentations are typically given to capacity audiences; the student venue accommodates about 75 people, and the evening event about 180. Each evening lecture sells out mere days after the invitation is mailed.
The mission of the GIA Museum is to increase awareness about gems, jewelry, gemology and related technologies through exhibits, lectures and programs that educate and engage the public and the trade. The Museum strives to reach and motivate local, national, and international audiences.
An independent nonprofit organization, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is recognized as the world's foremost authority in gemology. Established in 1931, GIA has translated its expert knowledge into the most respected gemological education available. In 1953, the Institute created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world. Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism. GIA can be found on the web at http://www.gia.edu/. Media queries contact: Laura Simanton 760-603-4112.