Anderson's work is recognized worldwide for his original gem designs and
techniques. His work has pioneered a form of gem cutting, which opens up
the top of the stone as a window into the interior. He designs within the
interior of the stone using light and optics as his palette. Previous gem
cutting generally neglected the internal dimensions of the stone His work
has captured 11 national American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) "Cutting
Edge" awards for gemstone design and execution.
In 1997 Anderson
received what is considered the highest award among gemstone designers -
1st Place award in Idar Oberstein, Germany. Held once every three years
this international competition is subject to the strictest jurying by experts
from the European Gemstone community. His 1st Place award in the "28th
German Award for Jewelry and Precious Stones Idar Oberstein 1997" brought
him worldwide recognition for his original designs and techniques.
Auction House has said of his work; "Arthur Lee Anderson is perhaps
the most innovative of a small group of lapidaries who seek to redefine
jewelry through gem cutting
work appears in magazines and journals worldwide, museums -including the
Smithsonian-and in private collections as well as Gems and Gemology.
A number of years ago while looking through a book on ancient art at a friend's
house, I came upon a figurine that mesmerized me. For months afterwards,
I kept seeing this figure in my mind and it was a beautiful, primal figure
in blazing gem materials. A woman, breasts open, holding two snakes. The
figure I had seen in the book was a clay statuette of a Minoan Figure, circa
1700 B.C. I realized that the figure I had been seeing in my mind was something
I had to create.
culture flourished on the island of Crete from about 2000 B.C. to 1400 B.C.
when it was devastated by tidal waves and earth quakes from the eruption
of the volcanic island of Thera. The Minoan civilization created extensive
works of art, frescoes, statuary, etc. as well as a written language, '
Linear A' which has never been successfully translated. As it has never
been translated, there is no explanation of who or what the figure holding
the snakes represents though she is commonly referred to as the 'Snake Goddess'.
I like that aspect of her that essentially she is whatever a person brings
to viewing her.... To me she is primal, strong, sublime, erotic, powerful...An
. . . . . .
first statue in the series, entitled 'Journey', consists of approximately
250 separate pieces of gem materials including alabaster, tourmaline, jasper,
lapis lazuli, epidote, ruby and obsidian. I work without drawings, the template
is a feel I have for her and the design elements unfold as she is being
created. The first statue, standing approximately 8 inches high, took 6
months to execute and has since been sold to a private collector.
name 'Journey' came to me in a dream. About the time I was completing the
first state I lay down to sleep and had a dream. In the dream a red headed
woman was in a car with me. I drove to a field and stopped. She looked at
me puzzled, with an imploring expression. I told her 'go ahead, its ok,
go' encouraging her to get out of the car. She smiled at me, opened the
door and ran across the field. In the dream the woman's name was 'Journey'.
I awoke and saw the statue sitting on my workbench. The statue had red hair
and I realized the dream was about her, bringing her back, letting her go...I
named the first statue 'Journey'. Please see the August 1992 issue of the
Lapidary Journal Magazine for a comprehensive description of the process
of creating this statue.
I was completing the first statue the second statue came to me in its entirety.
I saw a very expansive somewhat angelic figure in white. I realized that
this was going to be a series, 9 works in all, each one the same figure,
evolving over time both as my skills increased and as other elements developed.
second statue, entitled '2nd Journey' consists of alabaster, magnasite,
sugilite, spinel, black jade, agate, coral, emerald, and obsidian, again
approximately 250 pieces and 8 inches tall.
. . . . . .
third statue came to me in its entirety as well. She is very grounded, caught
in mid step in a dance, about to put her foot down on the earth. She is
black jade, obsidian, turquoise, lapis lazuli, tourmaline, emerald, nephrite
jade and a base of Carrerra marble. Entitled '3rd Journey/The Priestess'.
'This statue has been sold to a private collection.'
. . . . . .
fourth statue, 'Leigha', just completed, was 2 years from inception to completion.
She stands 2 1/2 feet tall, a departure from the others not only in scale
but in technique as well. In this statue her entire body was sculpted first
out of marble with the clothes, consisting of gem materials, applied later.
The clothing contains over 1000 pieces of garnet, black jade, epidote, smoky
quartz, citrine, obsidian, basalt, and amber. The emotion is celebratory,
happy, strong, and powerful. Please see the Spring 1998 issue of Gems &
Gemology for a detailed coverage of the creation of this piece.
. . . . . .
following one theme through a series that will ultimately take well over
two decades to execute, there is an evolution that wouldn't appear in single
pieces of differing natures. The technique of three-dimensional intarsia
has not been done much this century. It is perhaps the single most labor-intensive
form of gem art. It requires a certain commitment to the process that in
normal business considerations would be too impractical for most to attempt.
statues are, to use a clicked phrase, a work of passion..."
few years ago tragedy struck, "Leigha" was stolen from the Tucson
Show. All of the precious gems were removed leaving only the marble base.
Arthur was devastated. In 2004 Arthur was in a terrible car accident and
is currently recovering in an assisted living facility in Oregon, trying
to regain his memory. We all wish him the best.