Alex Sepkus

Faye Y.

Originality and imagination never go out of style, especially in jewelry making. Alex Sepkus has both, and offers great options in a sea of stunning but sometimes similar-looking pieces. His creations are things of beauty, but they are also playful as Sepkus combines different elements, shades and textures in them. The rings, bracelets, and necklaces from the jeweler can spark both fantasy and mystery when inspecting its intricate details.

A talented and dedicated artist

Jewelry Designer - Alex Sepkus
Jewelry Designer – Alex Sepkus. Photo: @alexsepkus

Any craftsman would know that while talent is admirable, it takes hard work and a willingness to learn to have more than just potential. Since he was young, Alex Sepkus already had an interest in creating and a flair for art. He enrolled at the Lithuanian Academy of Arts, where he majored in industrial design to become an architect just like his father. His studies, which included designing interiors, sculpting and drawing, made him realize however that his passions lie elsewhere—his graduate work became jewelry design.

Becoming a jeweler in the former Soviet bloc nation proved to be challenging as the government has prohibited working with gold. For this reason, Sepkus’ early work were mainly engraved stones, enamel paintings, and carved ivory. In 1988, he finally left for the United States. Three years later, he met Jeff Feero who pooled money with him to start his own studio. Shortly after that, Sepkus gained the respect of his peers as he was awarded the New Designer of the Year by Jewelers of America within five years of starting his company. Since then, Alex Sepkus’ creations have extended their reach and are now being sold in 150 US and international art galleries.

Details only possible by hand

Alex Sepkus’ business may have grown since the 1990s, but his work station in New York remains an intimate space conducive for meticulous handiwork. He works side by side with his craftsmen, no more than 20 people, and oversees each step that metals and stones have to go through to have Alex Sepkus’ unique brand.

Among the greatest weapons up in his arsenal is his imagination. Unlike other jewelers, Sepkus does not do sketches. In fact, he has not done any for many years. The conceptualization happens all in his head, where he can visualize the intricate details, general structure, and texture.

He then translates this into a wax model, which is cast later on in either gold or platinum. Even though he has equipment necessary for creating the textures unique to his jewelry, Sepkus maintains that every step is done with his and his employees’ hands. It is not an easy feat because his masterpieces often have features so small that they need a microscope just to view if they are done right. The resulting work justifies this though as his pieces are not only distinct but also high quality.

Nothing is simple

When designing jewelry, Sepkus’ design philosophy is to make his pieces fun and easy to wear everyday. Jewelry may be unnecessary, but you don’t have to stress about putting one on. This philosophy is expressed through colorful, ornamental accessories, which are said to be novel and familiar at the same time. Novel, because Alex Sepkus’ use of gems and metals is almost mosaic-like, nothing like what one would see among his contemporaries. Yet the pieces are still familiar, owing to the fact that what makes his creations unique also evokes a feeling of the old world. His masterpieces would not even feel out of place alongside medieval works of art.

Take for example Alex Sepkus’ Candy Bands, arguably the most famous of his designs. The collection does not take on a uniform color, and is offered in a variety of gems. Whether it’s diamond, emerald, sapphire or ruby, you can find what’s more to your liking in the collection. The mix of stones of different sizes and colors is attention-grabbing, especially when it contrasts with the band that is usually in gold.

Then there are his pendants in the shape of the cross, each and every one of them unique. Sepkus’ version is unlike any other diamond and gold necklace, as there is more freedom in how he employs the shapes and gems to form the Christian symbol. The result: the whole package is a stunner. Similarly, Alex Sepkus’ Little Windows collection is branded with the jeweler’s touch, but the shapes seem to generate both the charm of both the old world and today’s. The edges are not rough compared to what one might expect, and will only draw more attention to the inlaid stones.

Unmistakably Alex Sepkus

The jeweler’s creations may be unique from each other, but even if you’ve seen just a few, spotting a jewelry made by him becomes easier. With his distinct designs in 18K gold combined with expensive and rare materials, Alex Sepkus is in a category of his own. The remarkable pieces he put forth were only possible because he does not stress about the limits of the material he uses, and because he has done away with any desire to fit in. Sepkus allows his imagination to run wild and in the process produces one of a kind jewelry.

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