We recently spent an extraordinary evening at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)...
You may have seen my announcement recently the Patrick Dreher from the Gem Carving Dynasty from Germany would be speaking at GIA! ...well we didn't hesitate!
A Little History
The undeniable Gem Carving capital of the world is Idar Oberstein and I think that many of us are aware of several of the Gem Artists and Styles that have come from that region. Most have heard of the Munsteiner family and in particular Bernd Munsteiner who is the artist behind the Dom Pedro Aquamarine (14 inches tall and weighs 10,363 carats) in the Smithsonian...
|Photo via GIA website|
Patrick Dreher is the 5th generation carver in his family from a region that is the soul of Gem Cutting and Carving - Idar Oberstein has a 500 year legacy....
Seen at the Scene
The evening started in the Main Lobby at GIA where the Dreher pieces had been beautifully displayed in the cases at the far side of the room, Food and Drink Serving Station behind the Reception Desk and tables filled the center.
- The Larsen Family - Bill, Jeanne, their sons with their significant others....the evening was made possible due to their generous loan of the Carvings on display from the personal Collection of Bill & Jeanne Larsen.
- Harold & Erica Van Pelt - two of the best gem and mineral photographers in the world. Few know that for the last 35 years Harold Van Pelt has perfected an extraordinary gem carving technique (a piece of Harold's is currently on display at GIA).
- Meg Berry, of MegaGem, Multi-Award Winning Gem Cutter, formerly with Pala International
- Robert Weldon, Manager of Photography and Visual Communications at GIA
- Blair Beavers with the Pearl Guide and Graduate Gemologist
Meeting the Artist
We asked to move to a room that GIA often uses for presentations, seminars and symposiums...and in true GIA style the room was perfectly appointed so that everyone could see the detailed carvings and techniques as they were described.
Mr. Dreher spoke beautiful English and started with a brief overview of the 500 year gem cutting tradition of Idar-Oberstein, and wove his family's role throughout. It was fabulous hearing about the distinction between assembled pieces made from multiple gems and pieced together and the Dreher trademark use of a single piece of gem rough.
At one point he described his carving technique which would have been lost on most of those in attendance if it weren't for the multiple viewing screens throughout the room.
We then adjourned to the Lobby for Coffee & Dessert.
Thank you GIA, Patrick Dreher and the Larsen Family for the lovely evening, good company and yet another fabulous learning experience.