Van O’Meara is best known for his sculptural centerpieces, objet
d'art, hollowware and curiosities executed in solid silver and gold. As
master goldsmith, silversmith & sculptor, Stephen has transformed
the concept of silver tableware and sculpture with unique, fresh and
contemporary designs grounded in classical inspiration. His work has
won numerous awards.
Born February 27th 1954 in Denver,
Colorado, Stephen was introduced to silversmithing at age 11 while at
camp in the Rocky mountains of Colorado. Upon his return home he
erected a makeshift silversmithing bench in his bedroom, and proceeded
to make and sell small sculptures and jewelry for friends and family.
By age 13, he had his first O'Meara Sterling hallmark.
At age 14, on an educational trip to Europe,
Stephen was awestruck by the famous sculpture of the "Ecstasy of
St.Teresa" by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in Rome. Viewing the superb
craftsmanship and dynamic composition of the piece, Stephen knew then
and there that he wanted to become a sculptor and goldsmith and touch
people's lives through art.
A year later, Stephen traveled to Russia
and Japan, and was deeply impressed by the work of Russian goldsmiths
at the Kremlin Museum and Japanese masters in “Mokume Gane” and metal
forging. As a testament to the moment that changed his life in Italy,
Stephen made a 1/12th scale reproduction of Bernini's "Ecstasy of
St.Teresa" in solid 18kt gold and Lapis Lazuli, which took 3 years to
build and was completed in 2001.
Stephen began on his artistic quest by studying
sculpture with Helen Crosbie & George Carlson and later with Bruno
Lucchesi. He sought American & European masters in goldsmithing and
silversmithing and apprenticed with them for short periods to gain
knowledge and expertise. As such, after many years of study and
practice, Stephen is distinguished as one of only a few American
artisans who practices every aspect of the goldsmiths and silversmiths
craft himself. Uniquely, this enables him to produce each piece from
start to finish in his own studio, from hand-raising, to casting,
fabrication, chasing, engraving & enameling.
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