HomeBead PatternsMichael Boyd: Carving a Area of interest in Gemstone Jewellery | Jewellery

Michael Boyd: Carving a Area of interest in Gemstone Jewellery | Jewellery


Michael Boyd is a kind of designers whose work you’ll be able to spot from a mile, even for those who haven’t seen it in years. Its originality has to do with its layers of shade and texture. Plus, every factor is individually fabricated to suit the design, together with the gem stones he cuts himself. 

ABOVE: Necklace by Michael Boyd. 22K, 18K, sterling silver, tourmaline, diamonds.  

He says, “I view gem stones as a medium, like paint or clay or metallic, as an alternative of an adjunct to a bit of jewellery. For me, stones grow to be a palette of texture and shade.” 

Michael Boyd gemstone ring
Ring by Michael Boyd. 22K, 18K, sterling silver, chrysoprase (hand carved), tourmaline, black diamonds.

Shopping for vs Slicing Gems

“Whenever you purchase pre-cut stones, you’re counting on shapes and varieties everyone else is utilizing,” he says. “I view stones as a medium, like paint or clay or metallic, as an alternative of an adjunct to a bit of jewellery. For me, stones grow to be a palette of texture and shade.” 

Slicing his personal tough has saved him some huge cash through the years, he says. It additionally means he’s by no means compelled to chop an ordinary girdle or create an ordinary setting. He’s recognized to carve grooves within the within the tops of his stones to suit a metallic saddle over them. “Slicing my gem stones means I can do no matter I provide you with,” Boyd says. “I can actually push the envelope.” 

Michael Boyd gemstone brooch gem carving ideas
Brooch by Michael Boyd. 24K, 22K, 18K, sterling silver, sapphire, historic Roman glass, diamond.

Stone-on-Stone Jewellery

Boyd credit Lapidary Journal for coining the time period “stone on stone” to explain the signature model of gemstone jewellery he developed within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, a method many have adopted since. His jewellery was cumbersome and sculptural then. It’s extra compact and streamlined now, with extra gold and sparkle. Nevertheless it’s clearly an extension of these unique assemblages.  

Boyd made his first piece of jewellery at age 12 however educated and labored as a painter and ceramicist in faculty. Jewellery making was his aspect hustle till his gallerist Shelia Nussbaum visited his studio when he was in his 30s, noticed his jewellery, and requested some to promote. Inside a 12 months, jewellery took over. He started promoting it at different high-end craft galleries.  

Michael Boyd gemstone earrings gem carving example
Earrings by Michael Boyd. 24K, 22K, 18K, sterling silver, tuxedo agate, coral, black diamonds.

Galleries like Aaron Faber and Ladyfingers stay his fundamental income, in addition to reveals just like the American Craft Council’s (ACC’s) American Craft Present in Baltimore. Boyd has by no means had a manufacturing line, refusing to do something however one-of-a-kind work. In 2002 he gave an indication on the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) in Denver. He’s been in demand as a workshop teacher ever since. 

–Cathleen

Concerning the Creator

This publish is excerpted from “Carving a Area of interest” by Cathleen McCarthy, Lapidary Journal Jewellery Artist Fall 2021. All pictures by Steve Bigley, courtesy of the artist. Different artists profiled within the article embody Stephen M. Avery, Steve Walters, Sherris Cottier Shank, John Dyer, and Naomi Sarna. Every pioneered methods and distinctive kinds that gained awards, sustained thrilling careers, and set new requirements for the lapidary arts. 

You’ll be able to learn the remainder of the article within the Fall 2021 subject, which is included in an Interweave Plus membership.


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