News - Dreher Carvings

Dreher Carvings

“Dreher Masterworks”

Exhibition from June 03, 2022 to May 29, 2023
The Houston Museum of Natural Science

 

“Dreher Masterworks” showcases more than 120 carvings authored by three generations of Dreher family carvers. These exquisitely detailed carvings of animals including toads, mice, fish and birds are carved from crystals of ruby, topaz, beryll, jasper and agate. These are among the most highly sought masterpieces of contemporary lapidary art.

The pieces included in this exhibition were assembled from several private collections across North America and Europe, many of which have never before been on public display.

“Dreher Masterworks” pays homage to the lapidary enclave of Idar-Oberstein, Germany, the Dreher family of carvers and the museums and collectors who preserve their legacy.

The Tucson Fine Mineral Gallery Tucson 2022

The Scottish Gemmological association 2022 conference

Friday, 29th April – Sunday, 1st May 2022, Cumbernauld

 

Lecture and Workshop
Patrick Dreher - Mastery in Generations

A talk about the history of Idar-Oberstein and why it is such an important place for gemstones. Patrick explains his family history and how his relatives came to focus on carving animal figures, including discussing the influence of Karl Faberge and his idea to produce small animal carvings as gifts for the Russian Czar and Royal Family.

In the workshop Patrick will explain and illustrate the step by step process of how an animal carving is done, from the rough stone to the finished product.

Mehr Information und Programm

In Conversation with Master Gemstone Carvers
Patrick Dreher & Naomi Sarna

Two mas­ter gem­stone carvers, two dis­tinctly dif­fer­ent carv­ing styles, both take the art of carv­ing and el­e­vate it to a whole new level.

Based in Idar-Ober­stein, Ger­many, Patrick Dreher is a fifth-gen­er­a­tion mas­ter gem­stone carver. Through the gen­er­a­tions, the Dreher name has been syn­ony­mous with an­i­mals im­pec­ca­bly carved from pre­cious gem­stones. As part of the artis­tic process, Dreher ob­serves an­i­mals, prefer­ably in their nat­ural habi­tat, to study their move­ments and sil­hou­ette. He cre­ates his art by match­ing gem­stones with the right an­i­mal and its move­ments.

“Blue Flight” rutilated blue topaz sculpture hand-carved by Naomi Sarna

Citrine Hippopotamus hand-carved by master gemstone carver Patrick Dreher

In her New York City studio, Naomi Sarna carves gemstones into lyrical abstract forms that curl and flow like wind and water. Each of her gemstone carvings creates an illusion of light and shadow. When Sarna looks at a rough gemstone, within a few moments, she knows what she will carve from the stone. Sarna likes to carve stones that have inclusions, using them as a roadmap to guide her as she carves the stone.

Citrine Hippopotamus hand-carved by master gemstone carver Patrick Dreher.

“Blue Flight” rutilated blue topaz sculpture hand-carved by Naomi Sarna

Patrick Dreher’s carv­ings are show­cased in The Tuc­son Fine Min­eral Gallery, where Sarna will be dis­play­ing her work as a spe­cial guest of Dreher along with in­tar­sia artist Nico­lai Medvedev and gem­stone dealer Nicole Ripp, among oth­ers, dur­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion that runs from Jan­u­ary 28 to Feb­ru­ary 13, 2022.

Fol­low­ing is a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Dreher and Sarna on the art of carv­ing gem­stones.

 

You have a tremen­dous fam­ily his­tory in gem­stone carv­ing, how do you feel about that? Does it help you?

Patrick Dreher: To have a well-known fam­ily name with a long his­tory is a great honor. I’m proud of my an­ces­tors and what they have achieved. How­ever, it also comes with a great re­spon­si­bil­ity to con­tinue the qual­ity of work and to trans­form and de­velop this work and craft from the past to the pre­sent and then into the fu­ture.

Naomi Sarna: My ear­li­est con­scious mem­ory in­volves doing some­thing with my hands. No one in my fam­ily at that time was an artist, but every­one in my fam­ily knows how to fix or make things. I had a very strong de­sire, a need, to make things with my hands that I think are beau­ti­ful. The Art Nou­veau il­lus­tra­tions in the orig­i­nal Wiz­ard of Oz books in­flu­enced my search for the beau­ti­ful line. Carv­ing co­a­lesced every­thing that I knew how to do that is beau­ti­ful and art­ful with min­er­als. I have done my best to imbue my chil­dren and grand­chil­dren with art and cre­ative ca­pa­bil­ity.

What is your favorite material to carve, what material do you dislike?

PD: In general, my favorite gemstone is Citrine. I like the variety of colors in this type of quartz.  Every stone has its own beauty. With some stones you can see it straight away, with some you have to take a closer look. But they all have their charms. I don´t want to work with toxic and unhealthy gemstones like Malachite.

NS: My favorite materials are topaz and gems from the beryl family – morganite, aquamarine and heliodor. To me they have a crisp, clean feeling. I like the way they cut and they take a polish really well. Like Patrick, I avoid using toxic gemstones.

 

How has your training influenced your carving?

PD: The training I got from my father was very important for me. I learned all the techniques I needed and he taught me a lot about design and  “reading a gemstone” to see where the animal is hidden in the stone and how I can pull it out of the stone and bring it “to life.”
I used this acquired knowledge as a base to build on and develop my skills further.
Over the years, working side by side with my father, I also developed my own way of working and my own signature style. Now I carve gemstones and animals which my father never carved before. For example, my father would never touch a Topaz. It has a perfect cleavage which makes it delicate and hours of hard work can easily be destroyed in a second. This year I successfully carved “Mouse on a Mushroom” and “Seahorses” out of two pieces of bicolor Topaz.

NS: I’m a classically trained sculptor and I was trained in figurative work. Nothing that I do now is figurative. I try to share a particular form of intimacy through beauty. Following the beautiful line excites me. When the work is figurative, you want it to look like something. Now, I want to show distortion, how you see light and color that doesn’t exist. It’s a process of bending light and color. I carve for the design, which will be beautiful, intimate and inspiring.

 

How will the carving tradition carry forward?

PD: That’s a very good question, which in general is hard to answer right now. There are many different styles of carving and many different carvers so I’m sure there will always be some form of further development – a kind of evolution. To my mind the main concern for all present carving artists and future carving artists should be the quality of their work. Someone who really wants to carve and maybe even carve for a living should go through a thorough training which takes time — at least a couple of years. This is always the best basis on which to build. We carvers have a responsibility to our tradition, but also to our customers — to provide them with the best possible quality. Quality is something that always remains.

NS: The carving tradition will carry forward because Patrick does it, I do it and the fact that we do it, is inspiring. I taught my grandchildren to carve, but will they? I have no idea, but it will be in the back of their minds. I have given them equipment so if they feel inspired, they can start carving. I also give carving demonstrations and people are always inspired after they see the demo.

 

How has the consumer perception of carving changed over the generations (or past 20 or 30 years)?

PD: Through many generations people have collected animal carvings. But I think the development of new media like the internet, Facebook, Instagram etc. helped to bring more awareness to carving  over the past 20 years. More people worldwide are now able to see carvings and to learn about carving and the artists. Direct contact between artists and consumers is also much easier now. For me personally, the lectures that I gave or still give were/are also an opportunity to bring my family’s craft of carving into the world and to stimulate interest in my art. The increased travel opportunities have contributed a lot to this over the years (apart from covid-19 now). Another movement that I observed over the past few years, which is actually quite contrary to the speed of new media, is a desire for quality and something that is lasting and consistent. That's something that my family has been offering with their carvings for generations.

NS: The U.S. market is more interested in jewelry than in objets d’art in precious materials. The carving audience remains limited. I’m hoping that Patrick Dreher in Tucson and his upcoming exhibition in Houston will affect the thinking of consumers. Hopefully it will be like faceting. The faceting world was very rigid until some artists came along and started doing fantasy faceting. Now the faceting world is different than it was 50 years ago. I hope that happens with carving as well.

Authored by Amber Michelle

Explore works by Patrick Dreher and guests Naomi Sarna, Nicolai Medvedev and Nicole Ripp at The Tucson Fine Mineral Gallery, 465 W St. Mary’s Road, Tucson, Arizona 85701. Hours: 10:00 am through 6:00 pm daily January 28 – February 13.

Info@tucsonfinemineralgallery.com, 520.704.9046

 

Captions:

Citrine Hippopotamus hand-carved by master gemstone carver Patrick Dreher
“Blue Flight” rutilated blue topaz sculpture hand-carved by Naomi Sarna

 

The Tucson Fine Mineral Gallery Tucson 2022

Gallery Opening

 

The 67th an­nual Tuc­son Gem & Min­eral Show takes place in 2022 and we are pleased to an­nounce the open­ing of The Tuc­son Fine Min­eral Gallery, the brand new ‘go to’ venue for fine qual­ity min­eral spec­i­mens, gem­stone carv­ings, min­eral spec­i­men prepa­ra­tion and min­eral films and broad­casts.

The Gallery of­fers the per­fect set­ting in which to relax and enjoy a stun­ning se­lec­tion of the world’s finest min­eral spec­i­mens and gem­stone carv­ings.

The Tuc­son Fine Min­eral Gallery proudly brings to­gether many of the finest deal­ers in the busi­ness, mak­ing this a one stop ex­pe­ri­ence for all min­eral en­thu­si­asts who ap­pre­ci­ate the finer as­pects of col­lect­ing.

We at Dreher Carv­ings are proud to be a part of this gallery, and , along with our ex­hi­bi­tion guests

 

Nicole Ripp (Groh and Ripp, Idar-Ober­stein),
Naomi Sarna (gem­stone carver, New York)
Nico­lai Medvedev (gem­stone cas­kets, Tuc­son)
Matthias Fickinger (gem­stone carver, Idar-Ober­stein)

look for­ward to wel­com­ing you there!

 

We are open:

from Jan­u­ary 28th to Feb­ru­ary 13th 2022

10am to 6pm

 

and you can find us at:

THE TUC­SON FINE MIN­ERAL GALLERY

465 W ST MARYS RD,

TUC­SON, AZ 85701

USA

www.tucsonfineminerals.com

Book Presentation

Dreher Carvings

Five Generations of Gemstone Animals from Idar-Oberstein


240 pages, 22 x 29 cm, 200 im­ages in colour, hard­cover with wrap­around, Eng­lish
ISBN: 978-3-89790-507-8 | avail­able, 48,00€ *
* incl. 7% MwSt. | ship­ping cost


En­gravers Gerd and Patrick Dreher are fa­mous the world over for their mas­terly an­i­mal fig­ures cut from a sin­gle gem­stone. In the early twen­ti­eth cen­tury, grand­fa­ther, great-grand­fa­ther and great-great-grand­fa­ther all cut gem­stones for Fabergé – mostly agate but also ruby, ob­sid­ian, aqua­ma­rine, cit­rine and rock crys­tal. Today they are still being metic­u­lously made by hand using tra­di­tional tech­niques. The re­al­is­tic minia­ture forms of mice, snails, toads, mon­keys and hip­pos are de­signed by the two artists in mul­ti­lay­ered and coloured gem­stones so that, for ex­am­ple, the faces, palms of the hand or soles of the feet shine in an iri­des­cent red-brown agate while the bod­ies are worked in the glossy deep black part of the stone. These unique en­grav­ings are today some of the rarest ex­am­ples of the high­est qual­ity in crafts­man­ship and rep­re­sent fas­ci­na­tion of the high­est cul­tural de­gree in a world of in­creas­ing glob­al­i­sa­tion.

Some more con­tri­bu­tions by: Anton Ananiev, Gerd Dreher, Galina Gabriel, Oleg Gerdt, Alan Hart, Mikhail Ovchin­nikov, Raquel Alonso-Perez and Robert Wel­don.

Links

The Houston museum of natural-science, Live in stone exhibition

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GIA

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The Gemmological Association of Great Britain

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Bundesverband der Edelstein- und Diamantindustrie e.V.

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Das deutsche Edelsteinmuseum

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