Thousands have admired the work of Harold Van Pelt who, along with his wife Erica, are considered the best gem and mineral photographers in the world. Few know of Van Pelt’s extraordinary ability as a fine art gemstone carver, and nobody has ever seen his entire body of work assembled in one place. The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, CA is showing the first comprehensive exhibition of the extraordinary artworks of Harold Van Pelt.
For over 35 years Van Pelt has quietly been perfecting the art of carving quartz, rock crystal and agate gemstones. Hundreds of hours go into each multi-faceted, fluted, and textured vase, hollow container, sculpture and vessel, many of which are accented with gold and semi-precious stones. Working the stone down to paper-thin walls brings out the gorgeous natural quality and colors of the agate and gives quartz the transparency of glass. Transformed by one man’s vision and skill from a solid stone to an incredibly delicate work of art, the gemstone carvings of Harold Van Pelt have to be seen to be believed.