Secrets of a master gem cutter

Michael M. Dyber
Ledge Art Studio
Interview with Michael M. Dyber, Ledge Art Studio
It may not be too much of a stretch to compare what Michelangelo did with marble and Rodin did with bronze to what Michael Dyber does with gemstones. For more than two decades, former plumber, welder and jewellery shop owner Dyber has been dazzling the world with his brilliant stone carvings, ranging from sizes that fit in the palm of the hand to 12-lb quartz behemoths that can dominate a room.

Dyber is every bit the artist as legend would have it. He started sculpting gemstones without prior training, money or reputation, and within two years had announced himself on the world stage at the Idar-Oberstein, Germany, precious stone carving competition, where he became the first American to be so highly recognised. His relentless drive to reinvent himself to keep ahead of his imitators has led Dyber to such gem-carving breakthroughs as his “Dyber Optic Dishes”, where concave impressions on the pavilions of his materials create illusions of impossible images in his works.

Dyber loves the challenge of working with exotic two-colour ametrine and four-colour quartz using handmade tools fashioned from commonplace raw materials found around his house. In this video, he offers his secrets on turning carpenter nails into drills and beech trees into wheels in order to approximate the tools that carvers used centuries ago.

In the video, Dyber also provides valuable insights into the modern coloured stone market, wisdom on what makes an artist and sage advice for the creative soul, wherever its aspirations may lead. The 2013 Tucson Gem Show where this interview took place gave us the opportunity to tap into the mind of one of the unique talents in modern art, and it is with great pride that we present it here.

Mr. Dyber is a leading designer-gemstone cutter and carver. He has faceted and carved a variety of gemstones. He looks at the rough material and its potential as a true artist would. In these extensive interviews, Mr. Dyber discusses all aspects of artistic gem cutting and carving.