Alex Sepkus‘ work has fascinated me since the first time I laid eyes on it (back before I created Gem Gossip when I spotted his designs in a magazine). His jewelry is striking because it does not look like anything else out there in the market–that was the case back in the early 90s and that is still the case today! When you visit the Alex Sepkus headquarters in NYC’s diamond district and see the process of how each piece is made and learn about the craft behind the jewelry, you develop a deep understanding for these works of art. This is exactly how I spent my afternoon in NYC after a feature appointment with Barney’s New York (more on that soon). It was an ideal day and I’d love to take you along with me!
I had the pleasure of meeting Emilija, who handles the photography and social media of Alex Sepkus. If you already follow their account, you’ll instantly recognize her rich and heavily detailed photography style. It is honestly one of the best accounts out there of an independent jeweler. Alex’s work combines saturations of color mixed with fine carving, and every photo depicts each piece in the best way possible. I like when jewelry photography focuses on the detail, which is very important in this case.
I also got to meet Jeff Feero, Alex’s business partner, who took me on a tour of the workshop and their offices. We started off with a hands-on demo to get a firsthand look at how Alex creates his designs. His method is quite unique because he never draws out his visions, he interestingly makes a very basic underlying shape in wax and after it is cast in silver he will carve out the intricate shapes without sketching. Each piece that is created is done by Alex himself–he does all the original models and then from there, his crew of talented artisans will make the secondary pieces. For his style and the way each piece is executed, it is necessary for Alex to make each original as each piece is hand-carved and comes from a vision inside Alex’s head. He is inspired by literature, particularly fantasies. I also met Candace Edelman, the COO, who has been with Alex Sepkus for over 15 years. Among her many responsibilities, she is integral in ensuring the quality of the gems. Candy works with Alex to create the jewelry’s lush color palette. She is pictured on my left in the photo above!
The Alex Sepkus headquarters has a workshop full of talented people; the company has been in business for over 26 years with many of the jewelers there from the beginning. Each jeweler’s bench is equipped with microscopes because the details are so minute and fine. I love the rainbow colors that some of his pieces show off, using sapphires as a palette and tourmaline, amongst other gemstones. Of course diamonds are incorporated into so many of his pieces, with master setters whose only job is to set diamonds! The craftsmanship of each piece is truly remarkable.
The next order of business was trying things on! The textures and blackened parts of the designs that are achieved through an oxidation technique are my favorite aspects of Alex Sepkus‘ designs. I was taken by his bead necklaces too, especially the ones that have the carved faces. The gemstones he uses have exceptional quality, I would get lost in the depth of color. Each ring had a comfort level of 10/10 and contoured around the finger perfectly. It was as if Alex carved the ring while it was on a real finger! Although you can see and feel the seriousness of each piece, his designs have a playfulness to them as well. Each bracelet carefully handcrafted, each pair of earrings individually selected, each necklace ready to be worn.
I bet you have a local retailer that sells Alex Sepkus — you can check for your nearest location by clicking here. The interactive map speaks for itself of the global love that people have for Alex’s work. There are hundreds of diehard collectors out there and I hope to one day own a piece myself!
This sponsored blog post is brought to you in collaboration with Alex Sepkus Inc.
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