Fine Filigree: A Conversation with ACE Veteran Tom Herman

405505Long-time American Craft Exposition (ACE) artist Tom Herman of Seven Fingers Jewelry, based in New York, will return to the Chicago Botanic Garden this September to display his ornate and classical pieces of jewelry. Herman’s work has been described as having “the ethereal sensibility of Lalique, the durable elegance of Tiffany, and the detail-intense craftsmanship of Van Cleef and Arpels.” It’s no wonder he is widely revered by his fellow ACE artists and is a continual fan favorite.

Tom Herman at ACE

Tom Herman has displayed his jewelry at all but three of the American Craft Expos since his career and vocation as a master jewelry maker developed and took off in the early 80s. He credits his attendance partially to the hard work and dedication of the committee who continue to promote “this very lively show.”

Nature Is Herman’s Inspiration

ACE’s venue, the Chicago Botanic Garden, corresponds perfectly with the jewelry of Herman because he draws inspiration for many of his exquisite pieces from nature. Swirling leaves, tree branches and delicate flowers, all displayed with geometric balance and carved from gemstones and precious metals, are prominent in his work. He says that his work usually starts with a stone as the inspiration, and then takes on the organic forms of flowers, plants and leaves.

Thomas Herman 5Passing on the Skills

Herman gained his practical learning experience working at the Van Craeynest Jewelry Company, where he was equipped with the skills to create his intricate works of art. Today he is involved with a number of educational initiatives that help train young artisans to continue the jewelry making techniques he has mastered. He holds workshops around the country on carving and chasing techniques, and in January 2017 he’ll be teaching for three weeks at the Mendocino Arts Center in California. The pieces made during these classes will be raffled off by the center as a fundraiser.

New Collections?

When we asked Herman if he was bringing any new jewelry collections to ACE this year, he wouldn’t divulge details but jokingly commented that who knew what he would make in these next weeks.

Visit the 32nd annual American Craft Exposition at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois from September 23 to 25, 2016. Over 140 of the nation’s top craft artists will be displaying and selling their one-of-a-kind pieces, luxury collections and uniquely creative artwork. Funds raised will support NorthShore University HealthSystem’s innovative pharmacogenomics research. Purchase your tickets here today!


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