Michael Banzhaf's pieces are exquisitely handcrafted to reflect his feelings about the world and in his newest work, reinvent the natural environment. His designs most familiar to collectors demonstrate classic and symmetrical motifs undoubtedly rooted in his classical music training and fascination for Etruscan, Byzantine and Renaissance periods. Other designs are lyrical as they embrace forms inspired by nature. The result is a stunning collection. The range of Banzhaf's creations has included a "Rain Forest" necklace, earrings which resemble lily pads and ginkgo leaves and in homage to his adopted St. John, necklaces titled "Salt Pond Bay", "East End Full Moon" and "Windswept".
"I have developed two distinct styles. The first is classic and symmetrical, using traditional design motifs and reminiscent of ancient jewelry. My more recent work draws upon my fascination with plant life. I find inspiration in natural forms for the stylized interpretations that appear in my pieces.
I sketch designs first and then at the workbench pursue an organic approach, allowing the designs to grow and evolve spontaneously. My work is based on the concepts of durability and quality for daily wear as well as formal occasions.
With the pressing issues of environmental concerns, my intent is that both the wearer and the viewer will be reminded of the beauty and fragility of our planet. I wish to raise consciousness and dignity to these issues, with tributes preserved in the permanence of noble metal and gemstones, two of earth's most enduring materials.
All pieces are 18k gold or 950 platinum. All diamonds are E-F color and VS-1 clarity or better. I select only the finest gemstones of superb cut."