It All Starts with the Gems
CREATIVE DIRECTOR JEFFREY HUNT SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ON GEMSTONES, GEM DESIGN, CREATIVITY AND DESIRE.
What attracted you to gem cutting?
Years ago, I made some career changes, scaling down my work in theater to focus on my family. I was looking for an avenue to continue my work as an artist. I have a friend who dives for diamonds off the coast of Namibia who is a faceter. He showed me a few of his cut stones. The process fascinated me and I became hooked. It has become an obsession.
“It has become an obsession.”
How did you acquire your first gem?
I bought my first gem at auction from my diver friend in Namibia. It was a silky spinel. Going back even further, my brother collected minerals and gems as a kid and that likely influenced me and laid the foundation that eventually sparked the initial desire.
How do you compare to theatrical set designing to designing a gem or a piece of jewelry?
The transition from theater design to gemstone design was actually quite easy. Working in large theaters and filling empty stages or working with a gem is the same other than scale. You are bringing together the elements and working with a team to tell a story and focus the attention of an audience. When you get the right team together working towards excellence every day, it is a process that produces true brilliance.
How do gems inspire you?
I don’t meditate on the stone and wait until it speaks to me. I don’t hold to the Michelangelo idea of chipping away what does not belong until the design is revealed. There is more work to it than that. For me, it is a combination of intellect, intuition and inspiration. Intellect is what I know. There is science in a gemstone of how light bends, how color works, how it needs to be formed to work in jewelry and relate to the metal color and other stones around it. Then there is intuition. It isn’t magic. Intuition is learned experience that lets you take shortcuts and know what will work without having to go through an entire process. Inspiration is the last ingredient and it can come from anywhere.