Private Collection: A Jewel for My Wife
Nobel Laureate 2011 Prof. Dan Shechtman
A JEWEL FOR MY WIFE
By Curator: Anat Har-gil
1972, Dayton, Ohio. It all began innocently enough. Zippi, Dan’s wife, was busy in the evenings studying for a Master’s Degree in Sociology, and Dan Shechtman, a postdoctoral fellow, found himself studying stone polishing in the arts center during his free time.
Before long, five pairs of polished stones accumulated. Each pair, a different color. What would he do with them? He found himself attending a silver jewelry making course led by Mrs. Audrey Cray: “A very dear and special woman who taught me that esthetics is not an exact science. "Jewelry is created with feeling, love and patience,”
From that moment onwards, sensitively and delicately, Dan has been creating and designing jewelry. Jewelry for his wife: only for his wife.
The art of jewelry making became incorporated and condensed into the inherent knowledge he already possessed. Working with metal is familiar for Dan since he is a metallurgist. He understands metal; he handles it, in this case, to create his jewelry. The enamel is sealed, at times melting in his hands until it becomes transparent. The metal expands and contracts. Together, enamel, metal and stone merge into a melting pot of
matter and spirit.
The scientific thinking behind his art is very powerful. Yet, at the same time, jewelry making is an excuse for him, a reason to be released from the clutches of the laboratory. The thinking is now visual in form and it begs awareness for its own existence.
Professional knowledge is translated into plastic values, and what really takes place is the transformation of his sketches and his technical ability into a beautiful creation.
Behind every design lies the story. Each piece of jewelry serves as an expression of emotion or the marking of an event. The process is fed, fertilized, and examined by “an audience of one” - his wife Zippi.
When this journey comes to end, it is not yet completed. A ceremony – heartfelt and modest then begins. The piece of jewelry is presented to Zippi as a surprise. Even though she is present before it is even made, she is not a partner in its making.
Dan Shechtman is a research professor in the Faculty of Materials Engineering at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. In the year 2011, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of quasicrystals.
An exhibition of handcrafted jewelry created by Nobel Laureate Dan Shechtman is to be displayed on campus.Designed exclusively for his wife, Prof. Zipora Shechtman, the exhibition showcases 15 unique pieces ranging from earrings to bracelets with a single item — an Aztec-inspired silver belt buckle pictured bottom left — which Distinguished Prof. Shechtman made for himself. The exhibition, curated by Anat Har-Gil, will show June 10 to June 14, 2012, on the 4th floor of the Ullmann Teaching Center at Technion City in Haifa.