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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gurhan Opens New York Atelier

Gurhan at work in his new atelier.

Gurhan, the man and brand, has a public home where his international following, which includes celebrities and notable collectors, can purchase his 24k hand-made jewelry or even work with the man to build a unique piece.

I recently visited the 1,500-square-foot atelier in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York and met the man.

Furnishings and objects from different cultures and periods of time reflect Gurhan's eclectic interests.

Exposed brick walls, antique furnishings and along the back wall, “walk-in” doors of what was once an entrance to a large refrigerated room. In its former life, the building on 160 Franklin St. was a meatpacking house. Gurhan jewelry doesn’t sit in display cases. Instead, it hangs on walls in antique frames like works of art or on antique tables. An eight-foot-long bar is for coffee during the day and cocktails after 5 p.m.

Behind the bar and out in the open is Gurhan’s personal workshop, which he compares to the design of an “open kitchen of a restaurant.” So when he’s not traveling, he will likely be in the store at work, or “playing” as he likes to say, in front of customers.

He has a large operation in Turkey which produces his hand-made designs. However, if someone has a strong ideal about a specific piece, he or she can work with the man himself and possibly have the entire piece made by him.

An eight-foot-long bar is open for business for coffee during the workday and cocktails after 5 p.m. Behind the bar is Gurhan's open workshop. 

Gurhan came from behind his workshop to greet me and immediately started showing me the space and his recent antique and gemological finds. He showed me various gemstones (precious and otherwise), cameos, religious mementoes and other items that could end up on a custom piece made by Gurhan in his atelier.

Clearly, this is what he enjoys. “I will be able to meet the woman, listen to her dreams and desires, and create a piece of jewelry uniquely suited for her lifestyle,” he said.

Gurhan Cleopatra Viper bracelet. The six stations on the bracelet are set in hand-hammered 24k gold and oxidized silver with pave diamonds and rubies.

Even though the store has barely been open three months, this already this has happened. A couple flew in from Seattle to meet him and have him make their bridal jewelry.

24k butterfly micro mosaic pendant necklace

The place is a representation of Gurhan’s eclectic tastes and lifestyle. Like his jewelry, highlights of his career, such as magazine articles, are displayed in antique frames at the front of the store. Furnishings and other objects throughout the space represent the man’s obsession with Western, Middle Eastern and Asian history and culture.

24k Pietersite teardrop necklace

Gurhan’s jewelry is known for his personal, modern take on ancient gold-making techniques combined with artifacts he collects, such as antique coins and Italian cameos. Those who prefer to come in and leave with a piece will find a good representation of his work, including his more accessible silver and gold collection.

However, for those more patient, he can now create a special piece while others watch.

Jewelry designer Gurhan with his 24k jewelry pieces, which are presented in antique frames like works of art.

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