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In early November at SOFA Chicago AJF took a booth in the non-profit space and with our presence there we added 25 new people to our membership. Welcome to all of you. I would like to thank Linda Peshkin, Susan Kempin and Jillian Moore for the hours they spent at the booth. This was our first opportunity to give out our limited edition pins by Arthur Hash and they were a huge hit. Thanks Arthur. 

Ornamentum Gallery showed the work of AJF Emerging Artist winner Agnes Larsson  at the SOFA fair  this year and as a result of very successful show made a large donation to AJF. Thank you Stefan and Laura for your great generosity. We really appreciate it.

We were also pleased to receive a $5000 check from The Art Fair Company (who run SOFA) for the inaugural New Voices Grant, awarded to AJF. We will be giving this money to Damian Skinner, who will travel to the COLLECT fair in London in May 2011, and then deliver a talk to SOFA Chicago in November 2011 about the state of craft based on his observations in London.

The AJF Grant was awarded this year to the Fuller Craft Museum. It will support an exhibition catalog for Atelier Janiye and the Legacy of Miy Matsukata. The an exhibition features Boston jewelry artists Miy Matsukata, Nancy Wills Michel, Alexandra Solowij Watkins, and Yoshiko Yamamoto, and opens on 11 January 2011. Congratulations to Perry Price, the organizing curator.

As the year draws to a close we are getting our lists and calendars together for the coming year, and reflecting on what has happened in the past year. For AJF it has been a time of wonderful growth in many directions, and we hope this will continue in 2011. Thank you for your support and we look forward to working with you again next year to support and promote contemporary jewelry.

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays,

Susan Cummins

AJF Chair


It's coming closer to the end of the year, and rather than slowing down AJF just seems to be moving faster than ever. We have plenty of great content for you in our December newsletter. First up is Namita Wiggers's essay 'Curatorial conundrums', which was delivered at SOFA Chicago in November 2009 as one of AJF's sponsored talks. Namita tackles the problem and opportunity of showing contemporary jewelry in a museum, where touching and wearing are both out of bounds. Our editor, Damian Skinner, brings you a review of Lisa Gralnick's exhibition The Gold Standard, which opened at the Bellevue Museum of Art earlier this year, and was a recipient of an AJF publication grant in 2009. And we are very pleased to bring you a talk delivered by Susan Cummins and Susan Kempin at SOFA Chicago last month, as well as a review of SOFA by Jillian Moore. Damian Skinner also touches on SOFA in his investigation of the Chicago Tribune's arts reporter and her excitement at the presence of outsider art at this year's fair - and how the notion of outsiders tells us a lot about the relationship of fine art and craft. Ron Porter also reports on a special award given to Robert Ebendorf in recognition of his contribution to visual arts in North Carolina. We also bring you a report from Italy and the final posts in our School's Out series. Finally, we are introducing a new section to the newsletter this month, in which we will be bringing you news and views of what's going on and what matters in the world of contemporary jewelry. We hope that when AJF Recommends, you'll find it well worth listening!

And in the spirit of the season, don't forget to wear your contemporary jewelry - the most jolly adornment of them all!

Mike Holmes


by Namita Gupta Wiggers

As a museum curator, I work with objects. As a curator in a museum focused on contemporary craft, however, I spend a great deal of time thinking about how the environment and tools of the museum do - and do not - serve the kind of objects with which I work. Click to read more.


by Damian Skinner
I was lucky enough to encounter Lisa Gralnick: The Gold Standard in three ways: as a viewer looking at the show; during a private floor talk with Gralnick; and as a reader of the exhibition catalogue. Click to read more. 

by Susan Cummins and Susan Kempin
'And viewers like you'. The title of this talk was stolen from the PBS sign off to most of their programs. They thank various corporations, foundations and individuals and then they thank 'viewers like you'. Click to read more.
by Jillian Moore
My normal life keeps me in Iowa, a state not known for its gallery scene, let alone its studio craft community. I don't want to imply that those things aren't happening here - they are, but at a slower pace and a lower volume. Click to read more.
Let them Eat Cake?LET THEM EAT CAKE?
by Damian Skinner
Metalsmith magazine's 2010 exhibition in print was curated by Garth Clark, a writer, curator, historian and ex-dealer gallerist who has been a leading commentator on ceramic practice. Titled 'Neo-palatial: a curatorial imaginarium', Clark's curatorial conceit is to imagine his exhibition taking place in a faded eighteenth century palace in Europe that used to be occupied by a minor prince and now stands empty. Click to read more.
Brooch of HonorBROOCH OF HONOR
by Ron Porter
Governor Beverly Purdue bestowed North Carolina's highest civilian honor, The North Carolina Award, on Robert W. Ebendorf at a ceremony in Raleigh, North Carolina. Click to read more.
Gioiello #1 GIOIELLO #1
by Judy McCaig
In the breathtaking countryside surrounding Lake Garda lies the Cominelli Foundation, where for the first time, working with the with the AGC, Associazione Gioiello Contemporaneo (Contemporary Jewelry Association), organised and housed Premio Cominelli. 40 artists were selected and the resulting exhibition - in its amazing setting overlooking the lake - was of a truly impressive standard. Click to read more.
AJF is very pleased to bring you the eighteenth in a series of posts showcasing the work of graduate contemporary jewelry students from leading schools around the world. Our eighteenth entry in the AJF honor roll for 2010 is Massachusetts College of Art, located in Boston, United States. Click to read more.
Schools out xixSCHOOL'S OUT XIX
AJF is very pleased to bring you the nineteenth and final in a series of posts showcasing the work of graduate contemporary jewelry students from leading schools around the world. Our last entry in the AJF honor roll for 2010 is Alchimia, located in Florence, Italy. Click to read more. 
by Damian Skinner
Fossicking around the internet for information about SOFA Chicago, the big American applied arts fair held on 5 - 7 November 2010, I came across this report by Lauren Viera in the Chicago Tribune newspaper. Click to read more.

Jewelry By Artists - the Daphne Farago Collection

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is publishing Jewelry by Artists: In the Studio 1940-2000, a catalogue of the Daphne Farago collection. With essays by Kelly H. L'Ecuyer, Gerald W.R. Ward, Yvonne J. Markowitz and Michelle Finamore, the book promises to be a strong contribution to our knowledge about contemporary jewelry, as well as a record of an important collector and the jewelry she acquired.You can order the book from the museum's website here Email: webcustomerservice@MFA.org Phone: (508) 894-2863

AJSRA in Boston, 2011

The Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA) is holding its annual conference in Boston next year, from 16 - 18 October 2011. Replacing their usual format of one-day conference and additional study day, the event will be a weekend of tours and talks, organized around the Gems, Jewelry and Treasures exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. For more information please visit the ASJRA website here.

Metalsmith Exhibition in Print 2011

Submissions for the 2011 Metalsmith Exhibition in Print close on 10 December 2010. Called Fresh, the exhibition is being juried by American jeweler Lola Brooks and Cindi Strauss, curator of modern and contemporary decorative arts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. All work must have been completed in the last two years, and submissions are welcome from students as well as jewelers who live outside the United States. The entry fee is $25 for SNAG members, and $35 for non-members. For more information please visit the SNAG website here.

Making Futures

The Plymouth College of Art has made available a number of the papers presented at the Making Futures conference in 2009. Exploring the opportunities for craft practice in the growing interest in sustainability and environmental issues, Making Futures was an interesting attempt to position craft as central to the future in its ability to offer solutions to global problems. The website has 39 papers which are available for download as PDFs. Click here for more.

Arthur Hash at the Ross Art Museum

A small plug for Arthur Hash, who made the limited edition pins currently being given out to the lucky individuals who join AJF or renew their memberships for 2010. His solo exhibition. Arthur Hash: Jewelry and Wearable Objects, opened last month at the Richard M. Ross Art Museum at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, United States, and will be on show until 16 December 2010. Click here

Makers: A History of American Studio Craft

It's the big one! It's the big one! No, not a quake, but just as
earth-shattering - a publication that covers the development of contemporary craft in America from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Written by Janet Koplos and Bruce Metcalf, and published by the University of North Carolina Press, the book is organized chronologically, with short summaries at the end, and artists from each period are highlighted as examples of general trends. This book is a must for collectors, makers, students and AJF members.