People have great conversations about books, music, poetry, and art, but seldom does a dialogue about a piece of jewelry last very long. That is unless you’ve seen what Alex Sepkus can do. A piece from the Alex Sepkus jewelry collection speaks volumes of his intricate craftsmanship and novelty.
“In the jewelry industry, there is always someone who comes along every 30 to 40 years to dynamically change the category,” says Jeffrey Feero, Spekus’ business partner and a veteran in the industry. “Alex is the one.”
Up until 1988, Sepkus lived in the harsh economic climate of Soviet Communist-reigning Lithuania. The lack of availability of raw materials obliged the jewelry maker to work in steel, agate, silver, copper, ivory, and enamel. Without the opportunity to work in traditional gold, Sepkus never learned traditional jewelry-making techniques.
However, using what he had, Sepkus learned how to manipulate the metals and work with very small pieces. His techniques are simple—few tools and carving wax or metal. But his execution is complex. He carves, engraves, and hammers with utmost precision and design under a microscope.
After gaining recognition in his home country with pieces displayed in museums in Vilnius and Moscow, Sepkus immigrated to the United States. In 1991, he met Feero, started a small workshop, and thus the Alex Sepkus collection was born. His signature metals are now 18 karat gold and platinum.
Sepkus’ style of jewelry making is often referred to as being “half painting” and “half sculpture.” He creates delicate details and meticulous lines that wrap, twist, dot, and circle around tiny gems and statement stones to shape a pendant necklace, hard metal bracelet, earring, or epic cocktail ring. Unlike the too-basic, modernized hardware of today’s jewelry, the Alex Sepkus collection is sophisticated with an antique feeling. His pieces epitomize the expression, “labor of love.” In fact, Sepkus is even known to spend several days carving a square inch of surface until it becomes a perfect mosaic.
“Alex Sepkus offers people a chance to buy a level of jewelry that other jewelers can’t make,” says Feero, who predicts that Sepkus’ timeless collection will be fought over at art houses long past his time. “His work has lasting strength. It’s the fine estate jewelry of the future.”
The great craftsman equates designing a piece of jewelry to writing a book. Study the stones, grooves, irregularities, circles, and squares, and you’ll agree. There’s a story in every piece.
All Alex Sepkus jewelry is handcrafted in his New York City studio. His work is carried AT Bergdorf Goodman, Fragments, DVVS Fine Jewelry, and The Clay Pot. For more information, go to www.alexsepkus.com.