No. 14 January 2008

It's that time of year for resolutions, so let's all resolve to take action in support of contemporary art jewelry in 2008. You can read a book, attend a lecture, take a course, or visit a gallery; each activity will contribute to your education. You can increase your AJF membership level so you're contributing more to the emerging artist fund, helping fund a curatorial membership, or supporting a lecture at SOFA. You can participate in one of our trips or related activities, demonstrating your advocacy of contemporary art jewelry. Happy New Year!

Jane Shannon,
Editor, AJFconnection

In this issue:

  • New AJF Membership Levels and Rates for 2008
  • Gail Hufjay's First Exhibition in West Palm Beach
  • Italian Jewelry Tour: Renaissance to Contemporary
  • Autumn in New York - AJF's Nest Trip Destination!
  • AJF Awards $1500 Grant to U of Wisconsin - Whitewater
  • Mark Your 2008 Calendar

New AJF Membership Levels and Rates for 2008

It's just about time to renew your AJF membership, which you'll be able to do soon on our website via PayPal. When the system is up, you'll receive an e-mail notification that you can renew on-line.

The AJF Board agreed to increase fees slightly, after consulting with a variety of members, and we've added new levels of membership so those members who want to contribute more have a way to do that. These changes will enable us to increase the amount we award to our Emerging Artist, and to offer grants at a higher level, too.

We're also looking at ways to increase your membership benefits. For example, AJF members who own galleries will now get a 10% discount on all advertising in Metalsmith magazine, and all AJF members will get discounts on subscriptions or renewals to Metalsmith and American Craft.

Please note that your membership fees and any contributions you make to AJF are fully tax-deductible. Here's an overview of the new categories and fees.

Collector $150 (one person) As a Collector, you;

  • Contribute to the AJF mission as an advocate for contemporary art jewelry.
  • Travel to visit private collections, enjoy special behind-the-scene tours at art museums, and visit top universities with metals programs.
  • Learn more about contemporary art jewelry through monthly e-mail newsletters, the AJF website, and AJF-sponsored lectures.
  • Receive VIP treatment at SOFA Chicago and New York, and more to come.

Sponsors $500 (two people) Sponsor memberships include all the benefits of the collector membership for two members, plus you:

  • Provide additional funds to increase the Emerging Artist Award.
  • Receive recognition as a sponsor in our e-mail newsletter and website.

Benefactor $1,000 (two people) A benefactor membership includes all the benefits of the collector and sponsor membership, plus you:

  • Select two curators or educators to receive a year's AJF membership at the curator level.
  • Identify, with the AJF Board, an AJF program (lecture series, grant, donation) for you to sponsor that will bear your name for the year.
  • Recieve recognition as a benefactor in our e-mail newsletter and website

Curator (one person) $100 A curator membership includes all the benefits of the collector membership; the reduced cost acknowledges AJF's appreciation for the educational support curators share with us.

Gallery (two people) $250 A gallery embership includes all the benefits of the collector membership, plus you:

  • Can contact AJF members with information about your gallery.
  • Receive a 10% discount on advertising in Metalsmith magazine.
  • Can partner with AJF to sponsor special events during AJF trips, at SOFA, and at SNAG conferences.
  • Will see your website included as a link from the AJF website.

Gail Hufjay's First Exhibition in West Palm Beach
Hufjay 3

This January, AJF member Gail Hufjay will travel from snowy New York to sunny Florida for a big milestone: the first work she's ever submitted to a juried jewelry show has been accepted.

Gail first started collecting art jewelry in the 1980s. She remembers seeing one traveling jewelry show and being fascinated by the work of Rebekah Laskin. "At another show, I found myself falling in love with some chopstick brooches by Bob Ebendorf," Gail recalls.

Fast forward to today, and both Rebekah and Bob have been instrumental in the fact that three of Gail's own jewelry creations will be featured in the Armory Art Center's Close to the Skin exhibit in West Palm Beach, from Jan. 24 to Feb. 23 (see calendar). Here's how this all came about.

Gail's enjoyment of art jewelry first led her to begin collecting pieces. "I have a minor collection," she believes, yet the names in her collection include Pier Volkus, Marjorie Simon, Raissa Bump, Biba Schutz, Mary Donald, Roberta Williamson, Yoshiko Haesegawa, Thomas Mann, and Rolando Negoita.

Gail began making her own jewelry in the 1990s after she learned that Rebekah Laskin was teaching at the Westchester Art Workshop near her home in Westchester County, NY, and she signed up. Gail works for her own pleasure, not for sale, even though one persistent would-be customer once followed her throughout a craft fair begging to buy the work off her back.

In addition to learning from Rebekah, Gail has studied with artists Mary Beth Rozkewicz, David Butler, Robert Dancik, and Rolando Negoita.

Gail entered this particular show for two reasons. First, for some time Rebekah has been encouraging her to enter her work in a juried show. "She basically told me to 'Grow up and move on,' " Gail recalls. "The reason I selected this particular show," Gail continues, "is that two artists I admire so much, Bob Ebendorf and Linda Darty, were the judges."

Italian Jewelry Tour: Renaissance to Contemporary

Here's a combination sure to please:

  • Italy (Venice, Vincenza, Padua, and Florence)
  • Jewelry, past and present
  • Food, glorious Italian food, plus
  • Artists in their studios, as well as museums with great guides, it all adds up to molto bene!

Here's how you can participate.

Jonathan Wahl, director of the Jewelry Center, 92 St. Y, New York, NY, will lead a small group on a special Italian tour focusing on jewelry past and present from March 31 to April 10, 2008. The cost of the tour is $3,750, including hotel.

You'll meet artists and professors in metalsmith, go behind the scenes to view the Medici Treasury, tour workshops and studios, and see the Uffizi without the crowds. All this, and Italy, too!

To receive the full itinerary, call 212-415-5562.

Autumn in New York-AJF's Next Trip Destination!

We can't share exact dates yet, but we can recommend you leave your fall agenda (late September/early October) a bit free for an event sure to get you smiling, just as these AJF members did on our 2007 trip to Houston.

Fall 2008 will see the opening of the Museum of Arts and Design's new building on Columbus Circle in New York, and your AJF Board wants us to be there for all the festivities. As soon as we have confirmed dates, we will let you know.

Board member Susan Kempin will orchestrate this visit, collaborating with AJF member Ursula Newman, who serves as curator of the museum's jewelry collection.

AJF Awards $1500 Grant to U. of Wisconsin

In November 2007, the then AJF Board, which included Jo Lauria, Rika Mouw, Elizabeth Shypertt, and Pat Rodimer, agreed to award a $1500 grant to the U. of Wisconsin-Whitewater. This grant will support jewelry artist Eleanor Moty's participation in a special survey of women jewelers and metalsmiths with a professional and educational relationship to Wisconsin -- some participants graduated from Wisconsin; some did not; all, however, taught at Wisconsin.

The Women of Metal project features a wide range of activities with goals to:

  • Celebrate the artwork of women jewelers and
  • metalsmiths in Wisconsin;
  • Examine their work and its evolution and influence;
  • Consider the role of education and mentorship in their professional development;
  • Increase public awareness of their contributions; and
  • Inspire further scholarship into the lives and work of these pioneering artists.

Central to this project will be the Women of Metal exhibition opening in September 2008. The project's co-curators Teresa Faris and Susan Messer also plan a week of public events at the same time, including a visiting artists panel (which Eleanor Moty will participate in; her work will also be featured in the exhibition), an illustrated lecture by American Craft Council Fellow and UW-Whitewater Professor Emeritus Linda Threadgill, and a two-day studio workshop conducted by Marcia Lewis, now a California-based artist, author, and professor who previously led the UW-Whitewater metals program.

In addition, the project will feature two permanent records: a comprehensive exhibition catalog and an oral history archive that will be housed in the University library.

Mark Your
2008 Calendar


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

New West Coast Design--Jan. 18-Apr. 27, San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design, San Francisco, CA. For more information, see In conjunction with this show, Velvet da Vinci Gallery features West Coast Design: Jewelry and Metalwork, Jan. 18-Feb. 12. See www.velvetdavinci. com

Touching Warms the Art--Jan. 19-Mar. 23, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR. Exhibition jurors Rebecca Scheer, Rachelle Thiewes and Namita Gupta Wiggers asked artists to create work that audiences are invited to touch and try on. See www.cont

Framing The Art of Jewelry--Jan. 19-May 11, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR. This exhibition comes from Metalsmith's Exhibition in Print 2007, curated by Ellen Lupton and published by the Society of North American Goldsmiths. See www.cont

Close to the Skin: Juried Works of Jewelry and Personal Adornment--Jan. 24-Feb. 23, Armory Art Center, Greenfield Gallery, 1700 Parker Ave., West Palm Beach, FL. Opening Jan. 24, 6 to 8 p.m. See

Golden Clogs, Dutch Mountains--Jan. 20-Feb. 17, contemporary Dutch jewelry at Gallery Loupe, 6 Midland Avenue, Montclair, NJ. In addition, Andrea Wagner, exhibition curator, lectures about the exhibit on Jan 28 from 7-8 p.m. at the 92nd Street Y, 92nd and Lexington Ave., New York, NY. See www.galleryloupe .com

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


The American Craft Show in Baltimore--Feb. 22-24, Baltimore Convention Center. More than 700 artists will show their work. See www.craft


2008 SNAG Conference--Mar. 5-8, Savannah, GA. For more information, see www.snagmeta

CraftBoston--Mar. 28-30, World Trade Center, Boston, MA. Sponsored by the Society of Arts and Crafts, this show features 175 artists, including 52 jewelers. See www.societyofcraf

Italian Jewelry Tour: Renaissance to Contemporary-- Mar. 31-Apr. 10. Tour of Venice, Vincenza, Padua, and Florence led by Jonathan Wahl, director of the Jewelry Center, 92nd St. Y, New York, NY. Cost is $3,750, including hotel. For more information, call 212-415-5562.


  • Jaime Bennett, "Chadour", brooch, 2000, 18k gold, enamel.
  • Gesine Hackenberg, "Kitchen Necklace" antique Belgium soup plate, polymide thread.
  • Gail Hufjay, "Flowers in Urn", brooch, sterling silver, found objects.
  • AJF Membrers, Houston 2007 AJF Trip, (l to r) Rita Newman, Elouise Rusk, Karen Lorene, Joan Dutton, Nancy Worden, Marion Falk.
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