Henry Hunt, pioneering lapidary and gem carver, will be inducted into the Gem Artists of North America (GANA) Hall of Fame on Feb. 4. Hunt was chosen to be the first inductee into the Hall to honor his widespread influence on the evolution of North American gem artists. Through his two books, Lapidary Carving for Creative Jewelry (first published in 1980) and American Lapidary: Designing the Carved Gemstone (published in 1996), Hunt introduced a new generation of lapidaries to the tools and techniques of gem carving.
Hunt has been a professional lapidary for 40 years and was pivotal in establishing the carved gemstone as a viable alternative to the faceted stone. He began showing his gem carvings at the Tucson Gem Show in 1977 and has always been available to discuss gem carving with anyone who asked his advice.
Many gem artists, including award-winning gem artists Glenn Lehrer, Larry Winn, and Sherris Cottier Shank, credit Hunt as either their original inspiration to begin carving gems or influential in their development. “Many of us, including myself, learned many lessons in tool making and technique from Henry’s books on the subject,” says Larry Winn.
Hunt was born in 1927 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, attending college in Berkeley at the University of California as well as art schools in San Francisco and Paris. He has recently published the third edition of Lapidary Carving for the Creative Jeweler .
The award ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. at GANA’s annual meeting in Tucson during the gem and mineral shows. This year’s meeting will be at the Congress Hotel, located at 311 E. Congress St. All are welcome to attend the ceremony.