Born in Lithuania, Sepkus studied industrial design with the intention of following in his fatherâ€™s footsteps and becoming an architect. After some consideration, he determined that architecture was too limiting a medium for his industrial design passion. Growing up under communism, Alex was unable to work with any sort of precious metals since it was illegal to work with gold in the Soviet Union. With such limited material to work with, he focused mainly on engraved stones, carved ivory, and enamel paintings.
Alex describes the intricate detail work in his jewelry as â€œuniversalâ€ with a focus on basic forms, structures and textures. â€œI stopped making sketches years ago,â€ he said. â€œI imagine the piece I want to make in my head, and the hands work by themselves. Sometimes I get surprised at what comes out.â€
Alex begins with a wax model, which is eventually cast in 18K gold or platinum and then hand-finished. "I have no technical secrets," says Sepkus. "The main trick is in the very intricate manual work that goes into the process. I can explain the process to everybody. But at the same time, I don't think that I have ever seen a copy of my work somewhere. It is just so labor intensive." In fact, Sepkus has developed his own specialized tools to achieve the textures that make his pieces so recognizable.
In 1991, Alex met his soon to be business partner Jeff Feero. With a combined pool of $10,000 dollars between them, they opened Alex Sepkus Studios. Not long after this partnership began, Alex won â€œNew Designer of the Yearâ€ award from the Jewelers of America and they have been hard at work ever since.