NATURE IS THE TEACHER
As Ilya became more interested in his gem collection, he started comparing all the objects around him with crystals. "the human body, bees, flowers, everything seemed to be composed of facets.: He began to see the world as "an eternity of harmonious details" and studied natural creations as a studio apprentice would study the work of a master.
"Nature is like a very, very old wise colleague and a partner by whom I learn to create... Instructor, mentor, tutor, advisor, these are the roles of nature."
"My challenge is to let nature pass through my eye, my heart, my soul, and my hand, to reinterpret in a new way that no one has ever done before. There is no new imagery in nature - only new ways of interpretation."
diamond, tourmaline, citrin, blue topaz, garnet, beryl, spinel, wulfenite, cornelian, iolite, fluorite - 34" x 34" / 2003
"The Snake" is one of Schar's finest experiments in texture. Here onyx and rhodochrosite convincingly portay the scaly skin of the serpent. The head glistens with fire opal and one large star sapphire represents the gleaming eye. So faithfully are the scales represented, that viewers may have a sense of being able to peel the stones away to touch soft skin beneath. Careful consideration of texture, polish, and size has determined their placement on the snake's back. This work is alluring in its sculptural, tectile quality.
sapphire, topaz, sphalerite, tourmaline, agate, onyx, citrine, yellow quartz, coral, garnet, fuchsite, mica, biotite, bronzite, fire opal, unakite, pietersite - 25" x 20" / 2003
The Snake (fragment)