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Hargrave's brilliant artistry
Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Award-winning gemstone artist Dalan Hargrave has been a tremendous advocate of Australian opal in the United States.

Hargrave does not seem to be limited to the conventional constraints that some artists feel obliged to follow which is evident from the number of prestigious awards he has received. He began cutting gemstones in 1998 and has since received numerous Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards (22 in total with 3 Best of Show) from the American Gem Trade Association.

Hargrave has been incredibly supportive to the Lightning Ridge Opal and Gem festival by lending his expertise in both 2005 and 2007 for carving lectures and workshops, judging the International Opal Jewellery Design Awards and being MC for the Awards night. His work with opals is truly inspirational and leaves you completely awe struck by the intricacy of detail and innovation in design.
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barretts_side12 Hargrave said that since his early childhood he always had a curiosity and fondness for the natural world around him. “As my creative interest developed nature would become my main influence with it's graceful free flowing lines to rhythmic patterns and geometric shapes. As an artist, I believe the human eye gravitates towards that design and when we work within those parameters our work naturally appeals to more people,” he said

Hargrave’s inspiration from nature is brought to life not only to create exquisite  jewellery but with the objects of art such as essence bottles with gemstone stoppers to internal carvings of celestial cities and lighthouses that light up.
 
Currently he operates GemStarz Jewelry, in Texas US, a custom design studio specialising in custom mountings and gemstone cutting. Signature gemstone cuts are GemStarz and GemHeartz which features a star cut internally and isolated in the stone’s center by a ring of brilliance. Other gemstone cuts he specializes in are Spirographic cuts, compound concave cut and 3-D Illusion series. He had once planned to study math and physics in college and said that his mathematical mind helped him apply this technique and develop a new method to create compound concave facets, which curve in both directions on a longer radius.

Hargrave’s pieces are a harmonious fusion between methodical calculations and genius artistry. “Gemstones are defined by light. Colour, reflections and the physical properties of gem materiel effects our perception of  gems. With an understanding of the physical properties of gems  we can begin to manipulate light and reflections in an effort to express our creativeness as an artist," he said.

When you meet Hargrave he is larger than life, both in physical stature and character. Yet you soon realise that he is incredibly understated about the sheer brilliance of his work. “I'm very grateful and humbled by recent success and consider it a privilege to work with such a wonderful medium,” he said.

Even more inspiring is insight into the real world of designers where he reveals that he too has challenging days. “Not every design works out but if we keep trying eventually we will succeed,” he said. A reminder to us all that even the most gifted of artists is still human.
 
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