There are few places in California like Laguna Beach. Beautiful views, crashing waves and wonderful sunsets are commonplace, and a colony of talented artists calls Laguna home. In order for artists to exhibit at the Sawdust Art Festival, they are required to live within the city limits of Laguna Beach. For many, this means working in studios and shops with unbeatable scenes.
Meet Baruch Kaufman, a jeweler who has been exhibiting at the Sawdust Art Festival since 2012. He is a designer and artist for his family business, Gem Mountain Studios. His studio and shop is located on the cliffs of Laguna Beach, just south of Main Beach — not a bad view to work with.
Baruch is not formally trained in jewelry making and has never having taken a jewelry-making class, but he has been creating pieces for more than a decade and got his first opportunity at the bench in his parents’ jewelry store. He has since developed a unique style of his own. Baruch has two degrees from Chapman University — a BFA in film production completed in 2005 and an MBA in marketing in 2012. In between earning the two degrees, Baruch spent six-plus years in Los Angeles working in the entertainment business. He came back to Laguna Beach in 2010 to renew his commitment as a jewelry designer. Baruch has since begun his own film company and just finished shooting his first feature film — a sci-fi thriller titled “Ctrl Alt Delete” — which will be festival ready by summer 2015.
Baruch’s work is inspired by music and the wispy flowing lines found in calligraphy. He seeks to emulate his interpretation of sheet music in his work. He uses clean lines and symmetry to make his freehand wire designs with beautiful gemstones both natural and man-made. The only instruments used to create his pieces are a single set of pliers and a pair of wire cutters and his own bare hands. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, created with each gemstone shape in mind. Baruch works to balance his pieces by embracing the rule of thirds with the goal of consistently delivering an original piece of wearable art.
Here are some of his completed pieces for sale in his shop.
Visit Baruch in his shop, Gem Mountain Studios, 577 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, call him at 949-494-0921, or visit him online at www.gmsshop.com. Or come on down to the Sawdust Art Festival this summer to view or purchase his work.