Alex Sepkus (b. ????) He’s been called a fanatic, a master of design, a true original, and is undeniably a master craftsman with an obsessive approach to his work. In an introduction to Alex Sepkus’ official website, Stephen Webster, a British jewelry designer with his own eponymous jewelry brand, writes, “In a world full of designers scrambling to turn fine jewelry into an offshoot of the fashion industry … Alex remains so focused he never feels the need to chase anything. Why should he? His picture is big, like a magnificent mosaic; the components comprise detailing so small he and his workforce require microscopes to execute it… This obsessive approach would normally suggest an absence of humor. Instead, we see in Alex‘s work an irresistible playfulness, even a quirkiness, unrivalled in the world of the goldsmith.”
A native of Vilnius, Lithuania, Sepkus received his graduate degree in industrial design from the Lithuanian Academy of Arts. His studies included interiors, glass making, sculpture, etchings and graphics, and his ultimate graduate work was in jewelry design. He developed his strong understanding and respect for precision and balance from his father, a well-respected architect.
In his native Lithuania, Alex is considered an icon with pieces shown in museums in Vilnius and Moscow. His renowned talents have earned him one of the best reputations for craftsmanship throughout the world with all of his creations handcrafted in the United States.
Sepkus began making jewelry in the Soviet Union in the 1980’s and, after receiving asylum in the United States, continued his art and craft. His designs are immediately recognizable for their organic geometry, textured surfaces, intricate forms, and fine craftsmanship. His bridal collection has been called a timeless classic.
Sepkus came to the United States in 1988. Within a few years, he met Jeff Feero, and together they formed Alex Sepkus, Inc. Quickly garnering the attention and respect of his peers, Alex earned the Jewelers of America New Designer of the Year Award during the first five years of his arrival. Gaining national and international recognition, Alex’s designs are coveted masterpieces and are showcased in over 100 of the finest specialty stores across the country.
Each piece of Alex Sepkus jewelry is hand crafted in his New York City shop. Eighteen jewelers bring Alex’s designs to life and many have worked with Alex for more than 10 years.
His creations include rings (dome, center stone, and bands), earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, and men’s jewelry that comprise bands, rings, cufflinks, and ear studs. Every piece is created under a microscope from hand hammering, chasing, engraving, stone setting, and final finishing. No intricate or small detail is compromised. Sepkus has created over 300 designs for which he is the sole innovator.
Alex rarely sketches on paper. He prefers to carve directly into the material. From the original carvings to the finished design, Alex makes the entire first piece of each design. Once he determines the design is ready, he trains his team on the specific techniques he wants them to use to fabricate the piece. It is only then that the creation is deemed ready to be put into production.
Alex describes his detailed lines as “half painted, half sculpted.” He employs a signature technique of working on small components under a microscope, using very few tools, before fusing them together to create one finished piece. Each tiny component features so much detail that it can require several days for Alex to finish carving a single square inch of surface. Alex does not derive his inspiration from other designers or passing trends. Consequently his creations boast a distinct and timeless style that is completely his own.
Nothing is off-limits in Alex’s approach. He works in yellow gold, rose gold, platinum, and a vast array of gemstones and his philosophy is, “the more the better.” A vast array of gemstones move through his studio and he is always on the lookout for the very best stones for his designs. Alex especially loves bizarre/unusual gemstones and very fine gems. Rooted in ancient traditions, Alex Sepkus’ jewelry is modern art that can be worn with ease. His collections include unique yet timeless engagement rings and wedding bands to one of a kind hand-picked gemstone jewelry.
In a 2012 interview with In Store Magazine, he said, “An older jeweler friend said that I was born a jeweler. So it seemed that making jewelry, for me, would be the easiest way to make a living. I started my own business…with an idea to make handmade jewelry that would [be] completely identifiable as an Alex Sepkus piece… My collection is a mosaic of elements from various cultures, time periods, nature, and what I find beautiful. I continually want to revive something familiar yet something totally new so that when a potential customer or collector looks at a piece, it evokes feelings and a lasting impression. Personally, I love putting together interesting collections of elements — like keys on a wall or medicine bottles on shelves, but in a totally unique and evocative way.”
Sepkus draws inspiration from artists such as Gustav Klimt and M.C. Escher. No two of his designs are alike, they are all distinctly Alex Sepkus.
In September 2018, when asked by JCK Insider to describe his target audience, Sepkus responded by saying, “I have no idea. I make what I like. If some people also like it, everyone’s happy.”
Today Alex Sepkus employs 17 craftsmen who work side-by-side with him to execute the difficult hand finishing that makes his jewels so distinct. Each craftsman’s bench has a microscope mounted to swing in and out in order to insure the fineness and delicacy required of each piece.
Alex Sepkus’ designs are coveted masterpieces and are available in over seventy of the finest specialty stores around the country. His personal design philosophy is, “nobody needs jewelry.” It is meant to be fun, not serious, and worn every day.
Alex is more than a designer of jewelry. He has created his own category of jewelry. He is nether derivative nor does he follow trends. He simply creates beautiful, wearable art.
“My collection does not really evolve. I go from intricate shapes to simpler ones and then back again. And, I have no idea what I will make next year, or even tomorrow. Design to me is an adventure.” – Alex Sepkus.