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|Hold a piece of Michael Banzhaf jewelry in your hand and you meet the man. He lives his art.
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”, “The View” and “Windswept”.
Banzhaf’s most profound artistic statement is his “Environmental Medicine Rattle” series. These pendants are hollow forms containing tiny beads that produce a delicate sound to summon the healing spirit. He creates figurative work on both sides. One side is a micro view that may illustrate a breaching humpback whale, a wolf howling at the moon, a hovering dragonfly or sometimes simply a school of fish. On the other side, a macro view depicting our solar system is often the image utilized in variations. The theme of day opposing night prevails in each piece. His intent is to remind us of the beauty and fragility of this planet and make others conscious through these tributes preserved in the permanence of two of Earth’s most enduring materials: noble metal and gemstones.
I have developed two distinct styles. The first is classic and symmetrical, using traditional design motifs and reminiscent of ancient jewelry.
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.