Observing the natural pattern, texture and depth of color of a gemstone, I feel like I am inferring the stone’s character, which as a result defines the look of my future artworks.

Observing the natural pattern, texture and depth of color of a gemstone, I feel like I am inferring the stone’s character, which as a result defines the look of my future artworks.
Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio was born into a family of jewelers in Peru. Since childhood, he has been bewitched by the world of precious stones. Luis did his first experiments with materials, instruments and techniques when he was a kid. He studied engineering but every day he watched how the gemstones came to life in the family workshop. This made him realize that his true passion was to follow in the footsteps of his parents. Like his sister Silvia, Luis decided to carve gemstones professionally and create jewelry, which gives people the charm of the nature set in stone.

Luis Alberto founded L’Aquart studio, which immediately gained recognition from art galleries and private collectors around the world. His carved sculptures that are made of precious stones and metals stand out with their exquisite level of workmanship, incredible combination of materials and unique dynamism. Luis Alberto personally develops the sketches, selects the minerals and then monitors the implementation of his idea. Each piece takes around two months to create.
I thought why not add life to it? Or maybe even individuality or character! I wanted to show that skulls can be lively, even joyful.
The artist has a particular love for those precious stones which have certain features: an intense color, a distinctive texture and most importantly natural flaws, which add character to each stone. Luis and his assistants are constantly travelling around the world in pursuit of the best materials. Some materials can create an entire gemstone map of the world – with rubies from Tanzania, rock crystal from Brazil, lapis lazuli from Afghanistan and an Ethiopian opal. When all of the stones are collected, there will come a time for the next step, which the artist himself thinks of in terms of a test, almost like in hero stories.

Everything starts with an idea. Luis makes a sketch of a future work while keeping an uncut stone right in front of him. Then the stone is thoroughly prepared. Its pattern and texture are closely observed and the right carving method is carefully selected in order to help reveal the unique character of the stone. The next step is complicated and dangerous, but crucial – it is machine work, requiring skills honed to perfection and an extra level of attentiveness. One wrong move may lead to the stone being cracked or totally blown to pieces, potentially injuring the artist. Water plays an indispensable role in this process. It flows non-stop to the exact place where a stone comes into contact with the tool in order to diminish friction and avoid dust and fragments from being splattered.

The final stage is the decoration of the works, where nothing limits the imagination of the artist. Luis pampers his pieces in so many ways! Details, that accentuate the original idea, have delicate imaginary forms, they are often made of gold, silver and precious or semi-precious stones.

Apart from carved pieces, L’Aquart studio creates all kinds of luxury goods from colored stones and precious metals: cutlery, writing instruments, accessories for cigars and spirits, glassware, table games and even furniture pieces. L’Aquart works with famous brands from the world of fine jewelry. For Dupont they created an exclusive series of fountain pens from amethyst quartz. For Ferrari - a miniature car model made from a solid piece of ruby, which was later auctioned in the United Arab Emirates for $1.2 million. The Walt Disney Company commissioned a special piece – a gemstone chessboard which was made specifically for a new episode of “Star Wars”.

L’Aquart is frequently invited to private events and the most prestigious auctions in the world. Luis’s artwork is being displayed across the whole world: in the Museum of Gemological Institute of America, the Faberge Museum and in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. In the latter, for example, a stone skull “Pinky”, which is made of Peruvian opal, is being displayed. In total, 26 such skulls were created from different gemstones. Almost half of them are in Moscow: in the COLLECTION Museum, in Surround Art Gallery and in private collections.

Article by Katerina Perez
Katerina Perez about Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio
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