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May 2009

Hello out there. We hope you are all continuing to read this newsletter! We would love to involve you and turn this into a little more interactive communication. Several of our members have visited exhibitions and events and they thought you might want to know about them. You may have visited them too. Do you have a comment or two to make?  Have a look below and please respond with your own thoughts by emailing One day soon we will install a blog on our website so this is only a temporary measure. Thanks to Ron Porter and Mike Holmes for their contributions.
We welcome four new members ~ Carolyn Tillie from San Francisco, Marksz Co. Silversmiths from Wellington Florida, Julie Erwin, a gallerist from Venice CA and Ellen Ruben from Jeweler's Werk Galerie in Washington DC. 
This newsletter "takes a village" to publish. This month I thank Ron Porter, Mike Holmes, Pat Rodimer, Susan Kempin and Sally von Bargen for assisting me in bringing it all together.
That's all for now, read and enjoy!
Susan Cummins
AJF Chair
sofa NY 2009SOFA NY was more successful than the current economy might indicate. 
Things were selling and we had excellent attendance at the special AJF breakfast event with Elisabeth Agro (pictured above) called "Curator Discussion: Collecting Studio Jewelry". That was followed by a lecture given by Elisabeth called "Incubation: Philadelphia's Emergent Metalsmiths". As a curator she took a risky position by naming six young jewelers who she thought showed potential - three of which used a CAD (a computer) program to make their jewelry. Anne Mesko, Director of SOFA Programming and Advertising, said "It was an eye-opening lecture and I expect that we'll learn more about this work in upcoming museum exhibits."  We will eventually have the talk and the images up on our website for all of you who missed it. 
Trip to PhilidelphiaTRIP UPDATE
The AJF trip to Philadelphia is
May 20th to the 24th.
We still have room for a few more participants so if you have figured out a way to come please contact either Sally von Bargen or Susan Cummins (, We would love to include you. Doug Bucci, a jeweler and teacher at the Tyler School of Art and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, who is responsible for organizing the SNAG conference sent along a description that we have published on our website. Click here for more...
AJF Members Participate in Pratt Institute Panel
Last fall AJF visited Pratt on our trip to New York City and as a thank you for hosting us we gave them $500. Susan Kempin, Gail Hufjay (shown here with Pratt student Carrie Bilbo) and several other AJF members attended a critique and the graduate show at Pratt where the donation was awarded to a senior. Everyone was thrilled. Susan sent us wonderful images and a summary of the activities, click here to take a look.

Colleges and universities have graduate exhibitions during May and June. Check the schedule of the institution near you for more specific information. In the meantime we will collect images from the graduates and in the June issue of the newsletter we will publish them. If you want us to connect to your local school let us know.
Prins Brooch
Thoughts Provoked 
Katja Prins: The Uncanny Valley
Edited by Andy Lim
rling Publications
Cologne and New York, 2009
A Review by Ron Porter
The just-published monograph of work by Katja Prins created over the last twelve years, may be one of the more thought provoking books in recent art jewelry publications. Don't misunderstand; "The Uncanny Valley" has the requisite exquisite photography, quality paper, and thoughtful presentation that we have come to expect from such publications. But it delves beneath the surface of both the artist and the art to crystallize a body of work that, on first glance, may seem to be connected in no discernable way. This is an excerpt from Ron's review, click here read the complete review on our website...  
Ron and Bob
A Visit with Bob
A Continual Journey: Jewelry and Objects
Robert Ebendorf: January 30 - May 17
Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences 
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
A Tribute by Ron Porter
A chance meeting with Bob Ebendorf at Penland and my penchant for his work has led to an on-going pen-pal relationship. It has been amazing to me that such a casual relationship could grow into a satisfying friendship based upon spirited discussions of the scope of contemporary jewelry.
So it was with a mix of expectation and trepidation that we accepted an invitation to visit him at East Carolina University... 
Saturday brought the short drive to Rocky Mount to see "A Continual Journey" at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences. The Centre is a beautifully restored and redesigned tobacco warehouse. Bob's exhibition was shown in two of their spacious minimalist galleries... 
A full text of Ron's review can be found on our wesite, click here...
LaliqueNot To Be Missed
Artistic Luxury: Faberge, Tiffany, Lalique
Legion of Honor
San Francisco, CA
Until May 31st
A Review by Mike Holmes
Art jewelry from 1900 can be seen now at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.  The exhibition "Artistic Luxury: Faberge, Tiffany, Lalique" features jewelry and objects from these three studios and their competition to create the most luxurious pieces.  There are imperial Easter eggs created by Peter Carl Fabergé for the Russian royal family encrusted with diamonds and the finest enameling.  For fans of metalsmithing, this is work of the highest order and the history of their creation is fascinating; however, the remarkable jewelry by René Lalique is the reason you should not this exhibition if you are in the Bay Area. Continued on our website...
Three Shows Opening in Seattle Area 
Three major jewelry shows are opening in the Seattle area during the last weekend in June.
The traveling exhibition called "Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde, Jewelry from the Helen Williams DruttCollection" and "Loud Bones: The Jewelry of Nancy Worden" will open at the Tacoma Art Museum and "The Miniature Worlds of Bruce Metcalf" opens at the Bellevue Art Museum. There will be studio visits, lectures and parties organized around these, which we are sure you won't want to miss. We will get more information to you via email and posted on our website as soon as we have the specific schedule.