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Jewelry trunk show in Vail

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyJewelry designer Gurhan is known for his use of 24-karat gold in his pieces. He says conquering the difficulties of working with pure gold is "almost an obsession."
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VAIL, Colorado ” The Squash Blossom will host a trunk show with jewelry by designer Gurhan Orhan, known just as Gurhan, today through Sunday. The show will include items from Gurhan’s 2008 spring collection and an artist representative will attend. Gurhan is known for the signature designs and unique hand-hammered craftsmanship of his 24-karat gold jewelry.

“The collections are rich in luster and movement. Transitioning effortlessly from day to night, these styles are fashionable, yet timeless and distinctive,” said Amy Logan, manager of the Squash Blossom.

When Gurhan touched pure gold for the first time, it so electrified him he knew he’d discovered a life-long passion. He spent a year researching Byzantine and Anatolian metalsmithing dating back 7,000 years, and made the decision he would never work in less than 24-karat gold.

“It’s almost an obsession for me to conquer the limitations and difficulties of working with 24-karat gold,” Gurhan said. “The process of solving the many problems of using pure gold is a significant part of what I do, and it often dictates the parameters of my designs.”

He says his secret to working with pure gold is turning what seem to be limitations into advantages.

Gurhan’s use of 24-karat gold is not the only thing that makes his jewelry unique. All of his designs are 100 percent handmade. He takes pride in the fact that he, alone, makes all the prototypes for his designs.

“Only when a piece is complete and I have addressed all of the design issues do I even consider handing it over to one of my goldsmiths to make any subsequent pieces,” Gurhan said. He has a studio with assistants, but he won’t hire anyone with previous jewelry experience, as he doesn’t want anything to interfere with the ancient techniques he uses.

One design element that Gurhan does not employ is the use of sketching as a starting point for new pieces. Instead, he goes directly to the bench.

“I need to have the gold and the stones in front of me. Sometimes design ideas that might be aesthetically wonderful are a challenge with 24-karat gold. So, I must think technically. I know that most designers do sketch first, but for me, design is so technical, so three-dimensional, that I am most comfortable starting with my imagination and then translating it into something tangible at the bench,” Gurhan said.

“Full of distinction and color, the trunk show is a wonderful way to introduce new additions to your Gurhan collection,” Logan said. The trunk show will feature many one-of-a-kind pieces, including work from the Museum Collection, which highlights ancient bronze antiquities and the Micro Mosaic Collection, which gives new life to turn-of-the-century Roman collectibles.


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