Majestic mosques, exotics baazars full of fragrant spices, massive minarets and sultans. Istanbul, the only city in the world which has ruled as the capital of three different empires. It is this fabled city which is the biggest muse of Sevan Bicakci, , known in the world of jewelry as “Lord of the Rings”
Who is Sevan Bıçakçı
He was born in Turkey, during his younger age he had many temporary jobs, leaving school to become an apprentice to a goldsmith who was his relative. He started his own lab at the age of 18. Now that he’s 53, Mr. Bicakci is world widely known thanks to some pieces like his rings on “Basilica of Santa Sofia”.
Sevan Bicakci has been acknowledged for many awards, such asi the “Tanzanite Foundation Award” for the “Best Independent Designer of 2007”. Sevan also won the “Town & Country Couture” prize recently, included the “Town & Country Couture Gemstone Award 2008”.
Some of Sevan’s most famous collectors are Brooke Shields, Catherine Zeta Jones, Elizabeth Hurley, Liv Tyler, Kim Raver, Halle Berry, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Angie Harmon, Michelle Monaghan, Mary Kate e Ashley Olsen, Tory Burch.
However, “The Lord of the Rings” is not the typical superstar : he still runs his shop/lab in the Gran Bazaar’s district of his city Istanbul (in reality he has no shops in any of the biggest occidental capitals), he doesn’t love appearing in media, neither he speaks english; indeed, Bicakci is more of an artist and artisan than a mediatic figure, and also if he’s chased by his international success, this interest seems not reciprocal.
Actually, his double leveled shop-lab, located near the Grand Bazaar, a team composed by 95 people specialized in silver and gold smithing, masters gemsetters, painters and a sculptor, have been all carefully chosen by Bicakci to produce his dreamlike creations. According to the calculations of the jeweler himself, the meticulous work of this team of talents produces about 350 pieces every year; an understandable quantity knowing that every piece is handmade and needs many months to be completed.
The “Lord of the Rings” Technique
According to Bicakci, the lab is an exciting place which is inhabited by "magicians", individuals who are very talented and capable of combining their skill to reach a unique final result; a real creative vortex where you can find Sevan Bicakci’s eye, the real gravity centre which combines and regulates everything.
Without any doubt, one of the main reasons why the turkish masters’ jewels are so appealing is the use of highly dedicated techniques of which many are still an utter secret and are developed by the Lord of the Rings and his team after extremely long and exhausting processes of trial and error.
One first example can be the process of sculpture-carving which is a technique of "reverse sculpture" which allows to add "drawings" that fills the inside of the big gems in the turkish jeweler’s rings. This method was born from the necessity of decorating and giving depth sense to this stones of large dimensions, which has been designed to emulate Instanbul domes, like the Basilica of Santa Sofia; they also became the perfect way to tell a story through the real ring.
Another technique is an impressing micro mosaico and one of the most incredible demonstration of this skill is the ring "All over Istanbul" , which has more than 7000 tiny pieces and more than one year and half of work (in reality, the process has been so laborious that Sevan didn’t want to sell the ring).
Other than these and other standard procedures, Bicakci also adds arabic writings, paints, sculptures and carves for his creations, as well as a series of details which enrich and give a narrative depth to the product, underlining the unique features in everyone of them.
If there is something that characterizes in particular the jewels of Sevan Bicakci, is the complexity which presents a dualism: the physical and the metaphorical level; masterpieces which are built such in a way that the results are something that goes beyond the simple beauty, and enter bravely in the territories of art.