have always been attracted to the splendor and rarity of the art,
as well as the wealth and melange of gem materials.
with their bold colors and
unusual external or internal patterns,
trigger scenes for the imagination.
I've also always been fascinated with the versatility of the art,
an art that lends to free-standing sculpture and jewelry at the same time.
I'm constantly mesmerized by the numerous lapidary challenges
that different gem materials pose."
was born Helen Serras in New York City, N.Y.
moved at the age of 5 with her parents to their
homeland of Athens, Greece.
Helen studied drawing and painting
(1973-76) with the late painter Vrasidas Vlahopoulos,
and History of Art in Athens.
holds a Masters degree (MFA) in Sculpture
from the prestigious Hochschuele Der Kuenste
(University of Arts) in West Berlin, Germany,
after 6 years of study with professors Hans Nagel and
Harro Jacob (1976-1983).
her last two years (1981-1983) at the school,
Helen gathered great experience in molds and casts
working as Tutor of the Plaster Workshop in the Sculpture Division.
she returned to Greece
and worked in bronze and mixed media.
She immediately became a member of the
Greek Chamber of Arts/Sculpture Division,
and of the Sculptors Association.
She worked and exhibited there as a professional sculptor
until 1988. She presented two solo exhibitions and
took part in numerous sculpture group exhibitions.
to Singapore in 1984 left strong impressions
of the gigantic, tropical, eternal trees.
They inspired a series of sculptures,
the "Trees ",
reflecting a parallel course of man and nature.
The two major works from that series,
the "Tree of Life",
a 5.7' tall mixed media sculpture is
today in the "H. Antoniou" collection,
and the "Parallel Lives ",
a 6' tall mixed media sculpture
in the "Hatzisavvas" collection.
carrying on her large sculpture work ,
she served a long apprenticeship (1984-1988)
in Gem Sculpture [Glyptography]
with the English master
Nik Kielty Lambrinides.
Mr. Kielty Lambrinides,
half Irish and half Greek
from his mother's side,
is the last master of the English School,
the pupil and successor of
Cecil Thomas since 1976.
He moved to Greece in 1980
with the dream to create
a school of gem carving and gemology.
artistic future would soon
change after the discovery
of the world of carved gemstones.
Helen became the latest artist
in a long line of masters
of the English School.
She took the 3-year course
at the "Glyptography Center"
in Athens, the school created by
Kielty Lambrinides in 1984
and sponsored by EOMMEX
(Hellenic Organization of Small Industries and Handicrafts).
During that period, Helen also earned
her degree in Gemology ( FGA )
Gemmological Association of Great Britain .
1986 to 1988 she also taught Drawing, Glyptography,
Glyptology and Gemology at the "Municipal School of
Glyptography & Jewelry" in Volos, Greece, and
the "Lapidary School" in Agia Sofia,
near Hania, Crete, sponsored by EOMMEX.
Helen moved to Maryland,
into the Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan area and established her studio,
the "Glyptography Center,"
now known as
"The Gem Art Center."
From that point on she has
completely devoted her work
to the art and science of gem sculpture.
joined the Gem Artists of North America
in early 1997 as an Artist Member.
She has exhibited with the group
at the Lizzadro Museum in Elmhurst Illinois,
several times at the
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
in Pittsburgh, PA,
the Pittsburgh Ballet Opera,
and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.
has done research on the lineage of the Masters of the English School.
In 1991 she presented “20th Century Masters of the English School” at
the poster session of the International Gemological Symposium in
Los Angeles , California.
Helen worked with Dr. Julia Kagan,
Curator of Post classical Engraved Gems
at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg Russia,
and they combined their similar research on the
lineage of the Masters of the English School,
"Masters of the English School 14th - 20th Centuries"
into a single new list research, which will be published soon.
In 2002 and 2003, Helen served as
President of the
Gem Artists of North America (GANA).
is a Fellow member of the
Gemological Association of Great Britain ,
a member of the
Greek Chamber of Arts/Sculpture Division,
member of the
GIA Alumni Washington DC Chapter
and of several Gem & Lapidary Societies.
She is a past president of the
Gem Lapidary and Mineral Society of Washington DC
and has received many awards
for her contribution to the clubs,
especially for hereducational efforts.
The Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies
awarded her its highest award
in the Each One, Teach One competition in 1994.
Helen is a Firm Member of AGTA (American Gem Trade Association).
Helen Serras-Herman Inducted in the Lapidary Hall of Fame !
A SIGNIFICANT HONOR
Carolyn & Steve Weinberger
an inductee in the
National Rockhound and Lapidary Hall of Fame
is a singular honor bestowed on only
six individuals each year !
The Hall, housed in Murdo, SD, was the brainchild of
June Culp Zeitner the well-known author.
Categories for awards each year are
Education, Fossils, Jewelry, Lapidary and Minerals.
There is also a general category
for honoring deceased individuals.
Formal announcement of the
newest inductees will be made via
The Lapidary Journal
(see February 2004 issue).
are chosen from nominations
sent by individuals each year.
We’re pleased to announce that
one of our own members,
was selected by the
Hall of Fame Committee for induction for 2003!!!!
Congratulations to Helen!
joins past recipients,
who include Henry Graves,
Sharr Choate, George Kunz,
June Culp Zeitner,
Bob Jones, Paul Desautels
and Dr. Peter Bancroft.
Chesapeake Gem and Mineral Club
“Gem Cutters News”,
Gem Cutters Guild of Baltimore
Visit the “National Rockhound & Lapidary Hall of Fame” website:
is married to Andrew Herman,
a retired aeronautical electrical engineer,
lapidary and GIA graduate gemologist.
In 2005, Helen and her husband moved
to sunny Southern Arizona,
where she has set up her studio
and continues her artwork.
Her work is represented by galleries nationwide.
Helen has exhibited her work in every country that she has lived and worked.
she exhibited her work
in three sculpture group exhibitions:
(1981), Lemgo (1981),
and in the Freier Berliner Kunstaustellung, Berlin (1982).
from 1983 to 1988
she presented two solo exhibitions, and
participated in over 30 sculpture group exhibitions
in the “Athens Odeon”,
in Municipal Halls and in private Galleries
(Forum, El Greco, Skironio
Museum, Kreonidis Art Gallery, Bouziani Hall,
Museum Borre, the “Pleiades
Gallery” and Christos Kyriazis Art Gallery).
She also participated in the
GOLD & SILVER” Annual Trade Jewelry Show”
in Thessaloniki, and the
“GEMINI " Annual Mineral Show in Athens.
Today all of her large sculptural works
in bronze and mixed media
are in various private collections in Greece,
the “Haris Antoniou” Art Collection,
the “Municipal Art Gallery of Pireus”,
and over 80 works are housed
in the “Theodore Hatzisavas”
Sculpture Collection, in Athens.
in the “Steglitz Cemetary” in
Berlin, Germany, there is a Bronze
Tombstone Relief Sculpture,
which was created as a special commission.
in the United States,
Helen has participated in Gem Art exhibits at
the “Lizzardo Museum of Lapidary Art”,
nine times at “The
Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show”,
“Carnegie Museum of Natural History”,
Pittsburgh, PA, at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
for ballet performance “Jewels”,
the “Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County”,
and in the 1991 “International Gemological Symposium”
at Los Angeles, CA.
Tucson, AZ, Helen exhibited in
2002 and 2003
at the Gem Galleria Gem Art Show,
at the Historic Manning House,
and 3 times from 2004 to 2006
at the GemFair- American Gem Trade Association
at the Convention Center.
She has also exhibited at the
Denver Gem & Mineral Show,
and in 2006 at the
AGTA GemFair in JCK Show
at The Venetian Hotel and
Sands Expo Center
in Las Vegas, NV,
where she was a speaker as well..
upcoming shows and exhibits click on "Events" below)
1988, Helen has given over 60 lectures on Historical and practical
aspects of Gem Sculpture. Besides presenting Gem Sculpture and
describing her own work, Helen has given lectures and workshops on
“The Criteria for Evaluating a Gem Carving”
“Greek Mythology in Jewelry”
Art & Science of Glyptography- Selecting Gem Materials for
Sculpture: from the ancient world to the 20th century English
“Gem ID instruments”
“Gem Sculpture - The art of Creating Seals”
“Carving - What is an original piece and what a duplicate"
“Ivory- History and its use”
“Faberge, His Life and Work”
“Gem Sculpture over the Ages”
“Wonders of Nature- Facts & Lore about gemstone beads”
“Ancient Greek Ivory Carvings”
of the Past, Inspirations for the Future”
“Sunstone, the beautiful gem from Oregon"
“The Fine Art of Gem Sculpture”
“Mining Opal in Nevada & Sunstone on Oregon”
Spring 2006 Lecture Series
the Guest speaker
for the Spring Session of the
EFMLS Wildacres retreat workshops,
in Spruce Pine, NC,
where she presented 6 different lectures.
From Sculpture to Gem Sculpture
retrospective of Helen Serras-Herman’s
30-year artwork will familiarize participants
with the Fine Art of Gem Sculpture.
2. The origin of Glyptic
historic overview of Engraved Gems,
covering Ancient Mesopotamian Seals,
Ancient Greek Engraved Seals and Cameos,
Renaissance Engraved Gems,18th-20th century
and contemporary works. Accompanied by a Lexicon
and explanation of all the various terms used to describe the art.
3. Criteria for
Evaluating a Gem Carving
seminar identifies the important factors of the Concept and the
Execution Procedures of
a gem carving.
4. Ancient Greek Ivories
Lecture examines the ancient Greek carved
ivory production from the Minoan ivories of 2000 BC,
through the Mycenean and classical age works,
to the Hellenistic ivories of the 4th- 3rd centuries BC.
5. Chalcedonies and
Jaspers used for Carving
A presentation of
including Chrysoprase, Blue Chalcedony and Cornelian,
and colorful Jaspers used for carving,
with a closer look at the popular Ocean Jasper@.
6. Gem Carving,
Inspiration & Skills
Inspiration and subject themes
- How to get started with
& Selecting gem rough for carving
has given lectures to the following Societies:
"Symposium on Agate and Cryptocrystalline Quartz"
of Mines Geology Museum, Denver, CO
EFMLS Wildacres retreat workshops, in
Spruce Pine, NC
The Venetian Hotel and Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, NV
The Carnegie Museum of Natural History
The Weinman Mineral Museum, White, GA
“AGTA Tucson GemFair Seminar”
Society of Washington, D.C.,
Chevy Chase, MD
Lapidary & Mineral Society of Washington, D.C.,
Chevy Chase, MD
“RAP Smithsonian Institution”, Washington, D.C.
“GIA Alumni Chapter, Washington D.C.”
“Patuxent Lapidary Guild”, Fort Meade, MD
“Chesapeake Gem & Mineral Society”, Catonsville, MD
“Gem Cutters Guild of Baltimore”, Baltimore, MD
Lecture Series “Gem, Lapidary & Mineral Society of Washington, D.C.”,
New Carrollton, MD
“Gem, Mineral & lapidary Society of Montgomery County”, Rockville, MD
1994 Lecture, “Chesapeake Gem & Mineral Society”, Catonsville, MD
“Caldron Crafts”, Baltimore, MD
“Maryland Hall”, Annapolis, MD
“Southern Maryland Rock & Mineral Club”, Clinton, MD
“Tuscarora Lapidary Society”, Springfield, PA
EFLMS Geology Tour, Silver Spring, MD
‘Beadazzled’ store, Workshop, Tysons Corner, McLean, VA
“Carroll County Carvers”, MD
“International Ivory Society”, MD
“Delaware Valley Gem & Mineral Club”, Springfield, PA
Mineralogical Society”, Wilmington, DE
click on Events below
for upcoming lectures.
often writes articles, and has received many awards
for her contribution to the area lapidary clubs,
especially for her educational efforts.
work and articles have appeared in
Lapidary Journal, Rock and Gem,
The District of Gemology,
the GANA (Gem Artists of North America) Newsletter,
the International Ivory Society Newsletter,
the LJ cover to read
"Carving a Theme Series" by HSH]
Australian Metal Stone & Glass magazine,
The Guide-Gem Market News,
Colored Stone magazine
the Cameos cover to read
about the book
"Cameos, Old and New"]
Helen discusses the
"Criteria for Evaluating a Gem Carving "
Helen's article on
"Evaluating a Gem Carving"
the Article button above
"Evaluating a Gem Carving"]
is included in the “Art Guide Source”
an online Hallmark/Trademark Directory
of North American artist/metalsmiths.
All text and images on this website
are Copyright © 2003-2007
to the Gem Art Center and Helen Serras-Herman.
All rights are reserved. No part of this website can be used or
reproduced in any way, anywhere, without the written permission
of the artist and author Helen Serras-Herman.
Page last changed 09/02/07.
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