Exhibition Catalogue, "Gemstone Carvings: Masterworks by Harold Van Pelt"
"Birthday Book of Diamonds" includes photographs by Harold and Erica Van Pelt. It is both elegant and enduring, featuring photographs of notable jewelry for the birthstone of each month, with all subsequent photographs of extraordinary and diverse diamonds in every format. The calendar format does not include the day of the week or year, allowing it to be used at any time.
The Bowers Museum is very proud to have the opportunity to exhibit the carving of Harold Van Pelt. Van, as he is known to his friends, is best known, along with his wife, Erica, as perhaps the finest gem and mineral photographer in the world. Yet few realize that Van has been pursuing another art, the art of stone carving, for almost forty years. This exhibition at the Bowers is the first opportunity for the public to see the full body of his work. The carvings are made of quartz, rock crystal, or agate, a banded variety of quartz. These same materials were used by gem carvers in ancient times because of their beauty and durability. Many visitors will be surprised to learn that these exquisite containers are not glass "crystal" that has been molded or blown, but rather natural quartz that has taken untold hours of grinding by hand to produce. One of the most incredible pieces is a faceted egg, which in itself itsn't all that unusual. When you take a close look at Van's faceted egg, however, you'll notice a major difference. Van's egg is hollow, and the walls are only 3 mm thin! That is what makes his work so special and rare, and why it is so important for the Bowers Museum to present: "Gemstone Carvings: Masterworks by Harold Van Pelt".
from Foreward by Peter C. Keller, Ph.D. President, Bowers Museum
Hard Cover by Bowers Museum 2010
Exhibition Contents: "Gemstone Carvings: Masterworks by Harold Van Pelt" For over 35 years Harold Van Pelt has quietly been perfecting the art of carving quartz, rock crystal and agate gemstones. Gemstone Carvings: Masterworks by Harold Van Pelt is a display of his mastery. Each work in the exhibition is a reflection of hundreds of hours of craftsmanship. Van Pelt’s working of the stone down to paper-thin walls brings out the gorgeous natural quality and colors of 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. The Bowers Museum is proud to welcome this collection back to Santa Ana, where it was first exhibited in 2010.