No. 12 November 2007

November means GOTV where I live - not "Go, look what's on TV tonight," but rather, Get Out the Vote. So, we did, and we lost some, but we won some, too.

Land use is a big issue where I live, and I love the fact that it's also an issue that's addressed by jewelry artists like Lisa and Scott Carpenter - talk with them and you'll learn they passionately want to see rural landscapes instead of urban sprawl.

So does AJF member and artist Rika Mouw - she's fashioned many pieces that speak to land and resource preservation and conservation.

Art jewelry serves many purposes and initiates many conversations. If there are topics you'd like to see addressed here, please let me know via email:

- Jane Shannon Editor, AJFconnection

This month, you'll see our two featured interviews start here in the newsletter, then if you just click where indicated, you'll see the full interviews on the AJF website.

In this issue:

  • "Thank you all for loving jewelry" - by Sharon Church
  • "Attracted to texture and materials" - an interview with Pat Rodimer, past president, AJF
  • "Contemporary jewelry is not a field that can be pigeonholed by its function" - an interview with Cindi Strauss, Houston Museum of Fine Art
  • SNAG heads for Savannah in 2008 - and you can go, too! - a special offering for AJF members and other collectors
  • SOFA, So Good! - Glad to see so many AJF members there
  • Zoom Forward - What's on the Horizon

"Thank you all for loving jewelry"

- quoting Sharon Church

"Whenever I walk along Walnut Street, I look up at what used to be Helen's Gallery. I am reminded that even without her gallery, she is still doing it - she is still gathering us all into conversation and community through projects like 'Challenging the Chatelaine.' Though as artists we are spread across the globe, we still talk to one anothern- in person, when we happen to meet, or through the catalogue publications - about how we are responding to her challenges and what we are making.

"There are so many possible emanations for jewelry - it boggles the mind. In studio, I am still carving away, following my own path, thinking about beauty and loss, and the great joy of being alive. Thank you all for loving jewelry - for making it, showing it, writing about it, wearing it and taking it to the street. In this, we are all of us educators, helping to form an unknowable, intriguing future."

- Sharon Church, Professor, Crafts Department, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, speaking at the Ruth K. Shartle symposium, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, September 2007, at the opening of the Helen W. Drutt collection. ("Challenging the Chatelaine" is an exhibit Helen curated that is currently touring in Europe.)

"Contemporary jewelry is not a field that can not be pigeonholed by its function"

- an interview with Cindi Strauss, curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Design, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, (MFAH)

Cindi recently completed the five-year project of creating the Ornament as Art exhibit and catalog, which showcase the avant-garde jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt collection. She holds a bachelor's degree in art history from Hamilton College and master's degree in the history of decorative arts from Cooper-Hewitt/Parsons School of Design. Cindi has been with MFAH since 1994. Here, she talks with AJFconnection editor Jane Shannon about her work, her wish list, and her advice for collectors.

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SNAG heads for Savannah in 2008-and you can go, too!

"Midnight in the Garden of---" Savannah, and SNAG is offering a one-of-a-kind program, Friends of SNAG, for AJF members and other jewelry collectors, at their annual conference in the heart of historic Savannah, GA, March 5-8, 2008.

For $725, this exclusive offer gives you a year-long membership in SNAG, plus entrée to special behind- the-scenes events, as well access to the entire conference program and social events including:

  • Intimate invitation-only VIP Reception, hosted by SNAG's Board of Directors welcoming the conference speakers, who include Sheila Hicks, Keynote Speaker, and Susan Cummins, AJF President
  • Private tour of Telfair Museum of Arts and Jepson Center for Arts
  • Private tour of Owens-Thomas House, the finest example of English Regency architecture in the United States
  • Private viewings of the exhibitions featured in the conference Gallery Night tour
  • Specially arranged tours of local artists' studios
  • Private tours of a prominent local collector's homes
  • Meet the artists who create the work that excites you

To find out more, go to and follow the prompts from the 2008 conference to the Friends of SNAG section. If you have questions, contact Kiwon Wang, SNAG board member and coordinator of Friends of SNAG at

SOFA, So Good!

"Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewelry." -John Lennon

Gerd Rothman presented the above quote, and more, as he instructed and amused us during his AJF sponsored lecture at SOFA in Chicago. What was most touching was his description of what he loves most about his work-the interaction between himself and his clients as he creates pieces with fingerprints and other body impressions. He showed photos of his work, followed by statements about his work or process, and more quotes, such as:

"Someday, little girl, you'll have a diamond as big as your shoe." -Bob Dylan

Some 50+ AJF members and guests stopped by the AJF reception on Friday, November 2, arranged by AJF board member Susan Kempin.

Zoom Forward -- What's on the Horizon

Briefly, events that may interest you:

January 2008

Edge of the Sublime: Enamels by Jamie Bennett -- Jan. 19 - May 4, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA. For more information, see

Collect -- featuring 42 galleries from Europe, Australia, Korea, and Japan, Jan. 25-29, Victoria & Albert Museum, London. For more information, see

In the Forum

"Attracted to texture and materials" -- an interview with Pat Rodimer, past president, AJF

Pat's career has taken her from suburban Philadelphia to New York City to Chicago to San Francisco, where she's worked in corporate communications for companies as varied as Avon, Kraft, and Pacific Gas & Electric. Pat currently works as a communication consultant and also serves on the AJF board as the past president. Here, AJF board member Sally von Bargen talks with Pat about her interest in contemporary art jewelry.

Sally: First, on behalf of all AJF members, thank you for your many years service as AJF President. You've done a masterful job. Let's go back to how you learned about AJF and why did you join?

Pat: Carol Windsor, a local jewelry artist and AJF member, invited me to attend a Metal Arts Guild panel discussion with collectors and AJF members. As the panelists talked, I found myself jotting down tons of notes about "have they done this or thought about that." Afterwards I went up to them and essentially said, "Where have you been hiding? I've been looking for a group like this." Next thing you know, I was not only a member but also a board member. Classic case of beware of what you ask for!

Sally: Art Jewelry lovers often have personal stories about how they discovered it, where and how did your interest in art jewelry begin?

Pat: I'm not sure there was an "aha" moment. Like many people, my interest with craft began at a fairly young age with street fairs and the like. I gradually began to be exposed to higher levels of work. I still remember my first ACC show in Northampton, MA, and the feeling of having found some sort of Holy Grail so perhaps that was the true beginning of my art jewelry interest. However, none of my friends were into this and thought I was kind of artsy/eccentric.

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  1. Pat Rodimer, wearing the Ford & Forlano broach given to her by members for her years of AJF service
  2. Cindi Strauss
  3. SOFA - Jennifer Trask and AJF member Laura Lapachin, Ornamentum Gallery
  4. SOFA - At the AJF reception (right to left) AJF Emerging Artist Andrea Janosik, her friend Patricio, and jewelry artists Sayumi Yokouchi and Jamie Bennett
  5. SOFA - Ivan Bennett, Patina Gallery, at the gallery's first SOFA appearance
  6. SOFA - Gerd Rothmann and Sondra Sherman at her exhibit at Sienna Gallery

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