“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” —Pablo Picasso
After 40 years of making artistic jewelry, Paul Gross, owner of Designer Gold in Hanover knows the rules. And he has no worries about staying creative.
Just the opposite.
“The more you do it, the more ideas you get. Every time I make a piece, I get more ideas. Creativity has been easier over the years rather than harder, ” he says.
“I’m pretty much inspired by the stone itself,” says Gross. “I like to buy unusual stones. My stone dealers will bring them by and I get sucked right in. When I see one I like, I don’t have to think about it. As soon as I see it, I know that I want it.”
“Opal is my favorite, but I’m more drawn to unusual shapes no matter what the material. I look for something that is challenging to set—not just an everyday oval, square or round. I want something that will be a challenge. My specialty is coming up with ways to set unusual stones and design around them.”
Gross describes the process that starts with the stone and ends with a work of unique jewelry as “an anonymous collaboration between me and the stone cutter.”
“I’ve worked with certain lapidaries —stone cutters— whose styles I’ve really liked so whenever I see their stones, I know it won’t be hard to find things that work with my style.”
For example, Michael Dyber, is one of the best lapidaries in the world who just happens to live in Romney, NH. “I’ve made numerous pendants and rings using his stones,” Gross said. “We collaborated on a necklace, his ametrine and my design, that won a national Spectrum Award. His innovative stone cutting techniques inspire my own creativity.”