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“Southwest Sunset”
Acquired by the Smithsonian Institute 2015

“The Smithsonian recently acquired several specimens for the National Gem & Mineral Collections during the 2015 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. One of the pieces, the Southwest Sunset, was donated by Award winning gem carver Sherris Cotier Shank. The sculpture consists of a 443 ct Ametrine (purple and yellowish quartz form Bolivia) Sun sinking into 1407.77 cts of rose (pink) quartz (from Madagascar) clouds. Ms. Shank has won 8 Cutting Edge awards and this sculpture was recently displayed at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.”

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Barbara Berk’s “S-Curve Brooch” was donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston by Elyse Zorn Karlin, the Editor/ Publisher of Adornment, the Magazine of Jewelry and Related Arts, author of Jewelry and Metalwork in the Arts & Crafts Tradition, and past president of the American Society of Jewelry Historians. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is a major jewelry resource center. Its sizeable and comprehensive collection of jewelry and adornments spans 6,000 years of civilization on several continents and represents a wide array of materials, techniques and functions.

Berk created her “S-Curve Brooch” by weaving 18kt gold sheet and wire by hand, flat, off loom, in an “over 1, under 1” Plain Weave pattern, and then shaping the precious “fabric” into a 3-dimensional form. A separate stickpin – featuring a 14.20 ct Citrine carved by Sherris Cottier Shank, used as an attachment mechanism, enables the sculptural woven gold to be worn as a brooch.

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S-Curve Brooch Brooch by Barbara Berk
Sticking Pin 14.20 ct Citrine carved by
Sherris Cottier Shank

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AGTA Cutting Edge Awards

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“Waterfalls”

475ct, 385ct, 157ct aquamarine sculptures on carved onyx bases

The Waterfall Suite captures the liquid grace and sparkling reflections of water tumbling into rock. Mined in the Ukraine, aquamarine crystals like this were only on the market for one year, and Sherris feels lucky to have had the chance to explore their beauty. Each sculpture stands on an onyx base that is carved with swooping grooves and crisp ridges that flow directly into the sculpted shapes of the aquamarine. From largest to smallest the sculptures measure 2.5, 2.25 and 1.5 inches tall.

 

“Sophia”

Green gold sculpture with 36.16 ct carved citrine. Sculpture by William Hollman, citrine carved by Sherris Cottier Shank.

Award winning sculptor and jewelry designer William Holman of Dallas Texas created this dynamic sculpture around a 36.16 ct citrine that Sherris carved to look like a female torso. The 18kt green gold sculpture is set with 2 cts of fancy colored, channel set sapphires and won Holman the Cutting Edge Award. Sherris is pleased to have played a part in this glorious artwork.

“Mae”

1510ct Smoky Quartz on carved granite base.

The second of Sherris’ goddess sculptures develops her love for the female form as a source of beauty, power and intelligence. Taking a month to complete, Mae ‘s flowing lines, liquid curves, deep grooves and sweeping planes accentuate the luxurious color of the smoky quartz. Standing 5 inches tall, you can almost see Mae swinging her big, beautiful hips as she celebrates her divine femininity.

“Aurora”

879ct Rose Quartz sculpture on carved granite base.

The first of Sherris’ goddess sculptures, Aurora is named after the Roman Goddess of the Dawn. Stately and graceful, Aurora exemplifies the core goddess strength of conviction and determination while maintaining a soft, sensual and approachable goddess exterior. The fine Madagascar rose quartz glows in the light hinting at her divine purpose.

“81.42 ct Aquamarine”

The first of Sherris’ Cutting Edge Awards uses a gem shape she had experimented with in earlier pieces, but never in a gem this large. An early carving utilizing a pavilion to create light reflections through the top of the gem, the joy of carving this aquamarine initiated her fascination with carving large gemstones. 1.5 inches long.

“87.32 ct Ametrine”

In the 1990’s the owner of the Anahi Mine in Bolivia began introducing Ametrine – a naturally occurring form of amethyst and citrine in a single crystal – to the gemstone market. To this day, the Anahi mine is still the only mine in the world that produces natural ametrine. This lovely flat bottom gem was one of the first large pieces that Sherris was able to obtain, and she exulted in showcasing the swirling colors.

 

“54.73 ct Ametrine”

This ametrine marks a time when Sherris was developing the potential in complex carving of the pointed pavilion of a gem. The back carving caused the rich colors to explode with life, and the sweeping curves on the top of the gem ripple with currents of pulsing light. Note the slight variation in purples and yellows from the 87.32 ct Ametrine. One of the glories of Ametrine is the variety in these hues.

Not shown: 14.86 ct aquamarine, 3.03 ct braid cut tourmaline

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Competition for The Advancement of Gemstone Engraving Idar Oberstein Germany

“Perfume  Bottle”

816.26 ct Blue Chalcedony bottle with 102.65 ct Ametrine top.

The shapely blue chalcedony bottle, intricately sculpted all around, was carved from a single boulder of Turkish blue chalcedony. It has a cavity carved out of one arm to hold perfume. The ametrine top is carved in an elegant swirling pattern and fits into the bottle with the aid of a rubber o-ring that creates a secure seal. 4.5 inches tall.