The Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh recently purchased for their permanent gem exhibit two designs by award-winning master gem artist Michael Dyber of Rumney, N.H., who is known for his optical illusions in stone. The works purchased are indicative of Dyber’s signature lapidary techniques: the “Dyber Optic Dish,” in a 74.15-ct. Brazilian rutilated quartz, and his latest “Luminaires” design in a 95.45-ct. Brazilian citrine. Dyber’s optic dish design is a hemisphere that’s carved and polished into the wall of a gemstone, creating optical illusions throughout the gem. “Luminaires” are 1-mm drilled and polished tubes that bisect the gem design, also resulting in optical illusions. An optic dish may be added at the end of the tubes. “The lapidary art in the U.S. is very important right now,” says Marc Wilson, head of the section of minerals and collections manager for the Carnegie. “In fact, it’s very similar to what happened with paintings like [those of] the American impressionists. The creativity of these gem artists should be documented.”
Dyber’s optic dishes and luminaires are reasonably priced, which makes them appealing to museums that want the best representation of the art at a cost that won’t break the bank. “I’ve always liked his work, so I decided to grab a couple of them while we could still afford them,” Wilson says.
Dyber’s works have won numerous national and international honors, including nine AGTA Cutting Edge awards and three German Awards for Jewelry and Precious Stones in Idar-Oberstein. Dyber’s work also is displayed in Harvard’s Museum of Natural History, Cambridge, Mass.