Master goldsmiths Myron Bikakis, and Mark Johns have carved out a unique niche for themselves in the world of fine jewelry design by translating time-honored metalworking techniques into contemporary treasures.
From their airy studio in New York’s Greenwich Village, this design team uses the ancient arts of granulation, repoussé, filigree and chain-making to create exquisite necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings that are sold in top galleries and fine jewelry stores.
All pieces are completely handmade using the world’s rarest materials: gold of 22-karat fineness set with precious emeralds, rubies, sapphires, diamonds and pearls.
Each piece is inspired by the past, styled for the present and destined to become an heirloom in the future. Shown below are Bikakis and Johns, Beryl drop necklace and Emerald and Aquamarine rings featured at Studio22k.
Myron is from Athens Greece and is thoroughly steeped in the classics, something that undoubtedly comes through in his work. Following high school at Athens College he enrolled in the Classics and Archaeology Department at Athens University. After graduating he was awarded a scholarship to pursue an advanced degree in the University of Cincinnati’s Classics and Archaeology Department during his studies he participated in various excavations, conducted museum research and traveled extensively around the world. His PhD thesis was on Archaic and Classical vase painting, focusing on the collections of two Greek Museums. Upon finishing his PhD he came to New York where he also studied finance at NYU and worked as a gold analyst for two years. Around that time he discovered the Jewelry Arts Institute of New York, a school specializing in ancient jewelry techniques including granulation, chain making, and enameling. Fascinated with bringing to life objects he’d only previously found through books and study, he took several courses, apprenticing as a teaching assistant and eventually teaching there himself. Myron soon began selling his creations and in November of 1994, he and fellow goldsmith Mark Johns started Bikakis & Johns in the same Soho studio where the business operates today.
Mark is from Live Oak, a small town about half way between Tallahassee and Jacksonville. He is a creative spirit and an avid tennis player with a great serve and volley. After receiving a Bachelors degree in American and English Literature from Jacksonville University, he relocated to New York City and earned his Masters in English Literature from NYU. While in New York, Mark began pursuing several interests at once: singing in a rock band, studying film and studying jewelry making techniques at the Jewelry Arts Institute, where he ran into Myron.
At first, Mark assisted Myron with chain making, but after collaborating for a while and once Mark became highly skilled in the art of granulation, Myron approached him about a business partnership. Bikakis & Johns was born.
The art of granulation is one in which tiny gold granules are deftly arranged in a pattern on a gold surface and fused by heat.
This technique demands a steady hand and precise judgement; if too little heat is applied, the granules do not adhere; too much, and they are destroyed. Every piece from Bikakis & Johns involves countless hours of work.