The Artist now resides in Connecticut. Previously he had Galleries in California and has tentative plans to open a gallery in CT
Artist and Agent Gursel in Istanbul
As a child, my father took me to Mexico each summer to fish. At the end of our weeklong stay, he bought a bag of Pesos to carry home. In those days, Pesos were almost pure silver. I still have a bag he left me when he passed away at the age of 52. At other times, he took me hunting and hiking in the deserts and mountains of Arizona where I grew up. He once showed me a hilly area in the desert at sunrise, pointing out glistening little stones, of which we collected a number. They were called “Apache Tear Drops”. Legend has it the Apache Indians of the region refused to surrender to the American Cavalry and drove their horses off cliffs to avoid capture. The women of the tribe then came to the site of the mass suicide and wept in the desert. Their tears turned to translucent black stones.
At our home in Phoenix, Arizona, my dad had a small workshop where he showed me how to melt the Pesos, polish the “Tear Drops” and turn them into jewelry – most often belt buckles and bolo ties. This was my first experience in the realm of Jewelry Art and melding history—legend and fact—into my works of art. He made me an ardent lover of history and a passionate creator of the unique, crafted from elements I collected myself.
My artist’s journey of over 40 years has taken me to more than 100 countries where I have browsed estate sales, flea markets, bazaars, and small antique shops for pieces of history. I have a good eye and can usually tell the fake from the real after years of study, experience, and learning from my hard-earned mistakes. I often obtain items at a “steal” as the seller may not know what he or she possesses or in some cases the item may be damaged and of little value to the seller. For me, that is not a problem. I have a workshop where I practice the skill of “restoring beauty”. I then use the restored antique elements to create a "new" piece of wearable history/art. Most of my creations contain at least one component that is over 100 years old—some are thousands of years old and qualify as “antiquities” or those that have “survived the ravages of time”.
There is a profound difference between jewellery and “Jewellery Art”. I have made both. One is lovely to behold. The other is “magic” as it embodies the spirit of times long past and the stories that survived those eras in the stones and work of the artists. I like to think of myself as a “recycler of beauty.”
I hope you enjoy wearing these works of art as much as I have in creating them.
Artist and Daughter Anne in Malibu
My marketing manager and model
Working with Matin, goldsmith in Istanbul