Stories from the workbench

In this space, Alex Linke periodically will update customers and website visitors with news of his latest travels in search of materials for his “Pieces In Time” creations, as well as provide information of general interest about his jewelry.

imageFossil ivory from the tusks of walruses and Ice Age mammoths is among the most beautiful of all of the materials used in the “Pieces in Time” jewelry collection.

In selecting ivory components, an understanding of dating is essential.

First, ivory from any source typically is at least 250 years old before fossilization begins. Therefore, our customers can be assured that fossilized tusk materials used in “Pieces in Time” jewelry did not come from any animals killed by traffickers in the modern ivory trade. In the case of fossilized Ice Age mammoth ivory, mammoths roamed the earth some 10 to 20 thousand years ago; if ancient walruses and mammoths met their deaths at the hand of man, their demise was for the sake of survival and sustenance, and not the result of commercial greed.

Second, elephant ivory has not and will never be used in any necklace or other item of personal adornment made in Alex Linke’s studio.

Visitors to Alex Linke’s studio often are amazed by the unique assortment of equipment he uses to produce finished pieces. Reflecting his 30 years of design experience, many of the machines he uses to cut, shape and polish components of his jewelry are custom built or of his own design. The multi-step process he employs to create the “Pieces In Time”  collection requires an exacting attention to detail. Stones and artifacts must first be cut at precise angles, then contoured to highlight color, texture and any special features, such as the spider veins of a piece of turquoise or geometric design of an extinct sea cow tooth. To gently smooth even the softest materials, he uses a special tumbler of his own invention that simulates millennia of geologic action. The last stage  assembling the various components into stunning pieces of jewelry, brings together the artist’s creative vision, sense of balance and harmony, and the highest standard of craftsmanship.workbench_0701_sm

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Named for Alex Linke’s granddaughter, this necklace includes a combination of mammoth and fossil walrus ivory, as well as a colorful selection of old Venetian trade beads.