"Stones are very slow and patient. I spend my workdays alone with them in my workshop and their slowness rubs off on me. It is futile to hurry jewels along on their journey of emergence from the raw stone which bore them."
Price range: $850 t0 $5,000
ABOUT THE ARTIST: Michael Grant
Michael Grant is a jeweler who looks at life through his heart and it reflects in his work. He uses the finest domestic turquoise from Nevada and Arizona as well as rare sugilite, coral, Afghan lapis and other exemplary stones from around the world. Each stone is meticulously cut, turned and polished then put together in unique combinations that create the brilliance of design and craftsmanship for which Michael Grant is known.
"In our society, financial requirements trick us into believing we must hurry up in the work we do. I have sometimes lived their way, but overall, mostly, the stones have taught me differently. Stones are very slow and patient. I spend my workdays alone with them in my workshop and the slowness rubs off on me. It is futile to hurry jewels along on their journey of emergence from the raw stone which bore them. They refuse to move swiftly, forcing the jeweler to still his anxiousness, and even abandon his pursuit of completion. It sounds odd to say it, but they will be complete only when I have learned to follow them and not lead them. Sometimes when I resist this lesson my life is filled with anxiety, yet when I am mindful of this lesson I feel balanced and beautiful. The stones have given me this, and I sincerely hope that the finished jewels which I create can offer the wearer the helpful sort of harmony, a balancing counterweight of timelessness to human life in the 21st century." ~ Michael Grant
One of only a handful of stone-bead cutters practicing the ancient craft today, Michael Grant meticulously hand cuts each cool, smooth stone on a simple lapidary wheel. His necklaces, which can contain 300-800 beads, take 20-200 hours to complete; each one, as with the earrings, cuffs and other jewelry pieces Grant creates, is like a story of the earth told in color.
“It’s very meditative cutting gemstones; to spend the day looking at such color,” Michael Grant says. While working, Grant truly forms a partnership with his materials. “I’ll begin making one necklace and it turns into ten different ones,” he says. “I’m pushing the stones, and they are pushing me, saying ‘I don’t want to be that, but hey, I could be this,’ and it eventually all comes together.”
Michael Grant admits unabashedly to a love affair with turquoise. “Turquoise stones are like snowflakes: each stone is different, each mine is different,” he explains. “The colors, the time periods, the different matrixes provide an unlimited canvas if you keep the beads simple.” Working with sterling silver as well as 18k gold Michael Grant remains a consummate jewelry artist whose simple, elegant designs are without equal.