One of the main themes that emerged as I was writing my first in this blog series following GURHAN from stone shopping to finished jewelry, was the various dichotomies at play in our time spent together in Tucson. As we strolled through the aisles, I got to see GURHAN as both businessman and artist, “tiger and teddy bear.” As I continued on my journey with this incredible designer, I couldn’t help but reflect on even more pronounced dichotomies at play. First of all, heading to his Atelier in Tribeca on three different occasions last week, the difference in the weather from the start of this adventure to current times couldn’t be more pronounced! Tucson was a delicious 75 degrees and sunny. The winter we’ve been having in New York City has been nothing short of brutal! But stepping into GURHAN’s warm, cozy Atelier I completely forgot about the icebergs I had to scramble over just to get there! Candles are aglow, classical music plays through a state-of-the-art sound system, rich, 24 karat gold jewelry hangs in gilded frames along the walls and in showcases and then, of course, there’s GURHAN, the man himself!
When I arrived, we got right to work. I was thrilled to step behind the counter to where the magic really happens! I felt deeply the trust that GURHAN extended by having me in his personal space; gadgets and tools and gemstones and gold all precise in their chaos. There is a calculated order to this world that I was careful not to disturb (even though that meant ignoring my impulse to reach out and touch something every two seconds!). We began by faceting a couple of different stones. As he worked to precisely adjust and re-adjust the settings on his super cool Ultra Tec faceting machine, I literally felt like I was eavesdropping on a conversation between GURHAN and the stones, “Not bad….Cooooool! Where is the crack? I will go with the stone now….What do you want to be now?” were some of the low mumblings I heard underneath the gentle grind of the stone being worked on the various grades of diamond plates. Watching him work for hour upon hour, I noted multiple times how GURHAN was truly in his element. And what a joy to witness someone who really is, “in the zone!”
The other thing I couldn’t help but reflect on was GURHAN’s seemingly infinite store of patience! Not only was he patient with me standing over his shoulder, watching his every move, but he was patient with the stones, which seemed to have a mind of their own. GURHAN clearly has a vision for creating something during the course of this project (I’m not going to ask what it is or I’ll ruin the surprise for all of us), and when the stones he was faceting didn’t match that vision, at times after hours of work, he simply put them aside to work with at a later date, and moved on to something else.
Ultimately we settled on moving forward with a really cool obsidian. Given that the stone started in the shape of a small pillar, he first had to turn the pillar into smaller disks, which he did on a machine built for just such a task. Once that was completed, he let me select the disk of my choice and he set it up to start faceting by affixing it to a brass “dop.” Even this seemingly simple step required great precision. GURHAN was intent on ensuring that the dop was exactly in the center of the stone and he worried over it until it was at least initially dry before letting it dry completely over night. The next day, GURHAN continued with his magic and finished faceting one side of the stone. I thought this was it until we get to setting time, but once again, GURHAN is keeping true to his vision and just today sent me an email that he’d continued faceting the other side of the stone! I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait to head into the Atelier during setting time!
To be continued….