AJF Logo





Rod & Kiff Slemmons
Rod and Kiff Slemmons

Linda Peshkin, Damian Skinner and I have just returned from

presenting the Geography show at SOFA Chicago and I can say with confidence that we were greeted with strong enthusiasm. In fact, I don't want to brag, but we clearly put on one of the best shows there. I was glad that some of you got to see it. Kiff and Rod Slemmons helped to set up and take down the show and deserve a big hug for that. Damian gave a very funny and honest talk called 'The Bluffer's Guide to European Jewelry' and the Cranbrook panel with Davira Taragin, Iris Eichenberg, Seth Papac and Gemma Draper explored the idea of creativity. (Cranbrook also put on a wonderful show of student work at SOFA.) Thank you to everyone who helped made our presence at SOFA Chicago count. 


Gemma, Seth and Iris

And thank you to everyone - new and old - who joined or renewed in Chicago. We have started to give away our new Ted Noten Little Princess membership pins to all who join. Don't feel left out if you don't have one yet, as everyone will get one in the coming year. I am still trying to figure out how to tie the idea of 'a mischief of mice' (meaning a group of mice) to a clever AJF slogan - anyone have any ideas? We are all part of the pack. Speaking of gatherings, we had a lovely AJF dinner in Chicago, at a Mexican restaurant, with makers, educators, curators, museum directors, gallerists, writers and collectors mixing it up along with the margaritas, chips and salsa.


As the year draws to a close I can look back and say we Geography @ SOFAhave had a hell of a year! In our January newsletter we will give you a wrap up of all that AJF has achieved in 2011.


Until then, happy holidays.

Susan Cummins

AJF Chair




On Wednesday February 8, 2012 AJF will join the Art Guild of the Oakland Museum for a full day of jewelry viewing from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. The day will start with a special curatorial tour of Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta. She was a mid-century pioneer of American jewelry and her work is based on the shapes and influences of the art world at the time. To understand the contemporary jewelry of today it is helpful and fascinating to look back at these pioneers. Then we will travel across the bay to the fabulous collections of two AJF members - Susan Beech and Susan Cummins. Their collections range from the elegant and wearable to the edgy and provocative. Lunch and bus transportation are included. The cost of the day is $110 and we need to hear from you as soon as possible as there are a limited number of spaces available. Please contact Nancy Yoneyama at info@artjewelryforum.org to let her know of your interest. You will need to send your check to: PO Box 823, Mill Valley, CA 94942 by January 15, 2012.  



Our trip survey showed that a good number of you wanted to go to Europe and so we travelled to London, in May 2010, to visit the COLLECT fair as a way of introducing you to the European jewelry scene. Next on the list is a visit to Munich to take advantage of the annual Schmuck exhibition and the gathering of jewelers from around the world. Munich is a famous hub for contemporary jewelry and should be experienced by you - at least once and with friends.

Interested? We need to hear from you by December 15, 2011!


We are beginning to actively plan the trip and knowing how many people will be able to join us in Munich optimizes our planning and guarantees the best trip possible. Please send Nancy a quick email to let us know if you want to take part, or are considering going. If a telephone call is more convenient, please call her at 415 435.1614. Either way, we need to hear from you by December 15, 2011. 


Pinakothek de Moderne
Danner Rotunde
Here is a preview of what we have in the works. The trip is focused around the annual Schmuck exhibition, held from March 14-20, 2012, as part of the Internationale Handwerksmesse. For over 50 years Schmuck has drawn jewelers and jewelry enthusiasts from around the world. We will attend the ceremony where three of the artists in the exhibition will be awarded with the Herbert Hofmann Prize, a highly valued honor. We will also have a special tour of the Danner Rotunda, which is part of the Pinakothek der Modern museum and houses a fantastic exhibit of contemporary jewelry. This year the museum will have an in-depth exhibition of Robert Smit. High on the list of must-dos in Munich is a visit to the Art Academy where the well-known artist Otto Knzli teaches. We will visit the many exhibitions that take place around Munich at the same time as Schmuck and visit artist studios, not to mention the many jewelry galleries in the city.


As is the AJF tradition, we will dine at highly rated restaurants and, since it is Munich, a traditional beer hall. For our first night, we are planning a very special opening event and dinner. The AJF fee will include dinners, lunches, museum entry fees and any bus transportation as needed. Hotel accommodation, breakfast and transportation to and from Munich are left up to you.

farrahal-dujailiThanks to all the emerging artists who submitted work for the 2011 competition. After much deliberation, the jury selected Farrah Al-Dujaili as this year's award recipient. The statistics: 150 eligible applications, 36 countries represented, 57 applications from United States jewelers, 72 applicants had MFAs, 54 had BFAs, three had PhDs and the rest were self-taught, 73 applicants have had a solo exhibition, with 70 being represented by galleries. AJF wishes to thank the jury, Perry A Price, Assistant Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton MA, Marion Fulk, long-standing member of AJF and a collector of contemporary jewelry, and Agnes Larsson, jewelry artist and recipient of the AJF's 2010 Award, for the considerable time they spent reviewing and considering the work and for their informative and insightful comments. We look forward to seeing more of Farrah's work in the spring at SOFA NY.


Next in the series is Ivan Barnett of Patina Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.   


Where did your interest in contemporary jewelry come from?

For over a century, artists have found their way to New Mexico, as we did, drawn by the poetic light, organic tones of the landscape and indigenous cultures. During the past decade or more, Santa Fe has become an important international arts destination and it attracts visitors from around the globe. This allows Patina to present very sophisticated, fresh works against a unique historic and cultural backdrop. Read more...  

Ateliery Janiye ExhibitEXCLUSIVE CONTENT

Damian Skinner reviews Atelier Janiy and the Legacy of Miy Matsukata at the Fuller Craft Museum. Read more...  


By Sienna Patti


In October 2011, AJF editor Damian Skinner and I had the pleasure of
At the MFA
Lorraine Bressler and Dale Pollack with Kelly L'Ecuyer 
hosting the AJF tour of the jewelry exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. An early start of 9 am was no problem for the intrepid jewelry lovers who gathered at the staff entrance of the museum, with the promise of knowledge - and brunch - to keep them enthused. Curator Yvonne Markowitz was splendid! She gave us a jewel-by-jewel tour of Jewels, Gems, & Treasures in the recently opened Kaplan Family Jewelry Gallery and it was with excitement that we breezed through 3000 years of jewelry history. Easy, when you are seeing some of the best examples from each time period. (A favorite? The feng tien, a form of headdress, from China, covered with vivid blue kingfisher feathers and a plethora of semi-precious and non-precious materials.) Curator Kelly L'Ecuyer brilliantly led us through the wing of the museum dedicated to Art in the Americas, stopping on each floor to note the relevant jewels, objects and adornment - and a few iconic paintings and sculptures - that feature in the comprehensive display. Kelly has such a wonderful grasp of the continuum of jewelry history and we could have spent all day traversing the multiple exhibits. But alas we ran out of time and more base needs asserted themselves. Food! Conversation! Joining us at the MFA's wonderful Bravo Caf for brunch were
Giampaolo Babetto
Giampaolo Babetto
AJF members, friends and supporters of the museum (now new AJF members!) who generously donated to AJF to be included in our intimate tour. After brunch, a few of the most hardcore tour members continued into the Linde Family Wing to view the works of Giampaolo Babetto, currently the only jewelry included in the contemporary art section of the museum - something to work on!
Thank you to everyone who was part of making this happen, especially Yvonne and Kelly, who were so generous with their time and knowledge. My seven-and-a-half hour trek home in an unexpected snowstorm was worth it!

Here's a global sample of what's on in member galleries in December.    





Aaron Faber Gallery

New York, New York 

Two Generations: The Jewelry of Earl and Tod Pardon  

November 15 - December 31, 2011





Atta Gallery Taweesak Molsawat


ATTA Gallery 

Bangkok, Thailand  

Taweesak Molsawat, 'This is Thailand' 

November 16 - December 23, 2011





Seth Papac

caroline van hoek
contemporary art jewelry 
Brussels, Belgium
Seth Papac, 'Put on the Lights'
November 17 - December 31, 2011 




Crafthaus Atticus Adams Studio


online community 

Studio Sanctuaries Part 3 online exhibtion







Facere Holiday

Facr Jewelry Art Gallery 

Seattle, Washington, USA

Holiday Artist Show   

November 30 - December 24, 2011 

Timothy Information Limited 

Galerie Louise Smit

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

Timothy Information Ltd and Paolo Scura, 'BLacK & bLUe (& yellow)'
November 13 - December 22, 2011






Marzee Kathleen Fink
Kathleen Fink

Galerie Marzee  
Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Three Solo Exhibitions: Kathleen Fink, Geert-Jan van Oostende, Andrea Wippermann

Two Group Exhibitions: RCA Effe Kijken 4, 'Let's Have a Look IV'
Presentation Workshop Atelier Ravary # 24 

December 18, 2011 - February 29, 2012 







Galerie Ra 


Galerie Ra

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

Ra Present, 35 years Ra Gallery

December 3, 2011 - February 12, 2012  









Galerie Rob Koudijs

Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

Nhat-Vu Dang and Benedikt Fischer, 'Clear Cut'

Clio Braga, 'Rasure'

December 10, 2011 - January 14, 2012










Gallery Loupe

Montclair, New Jersey, USA 

Klaus Brgel 

November 14 - December 12, 2011 






Eric Silva


Gallery Lulo

Healdsubrg, California, USA 

Eric Silva and Karen Gilbert  

December 1 - 31, 2011 








David Bielander
David Bielander

Gallery S O  

London, United Kingdom 

22 Bricks at a Time: Contemporary metalwork and jewellery by 22 international artists

December 1, 2011 - January 29, 2012








Tara Locklear
Tara Locklear


Heidi Lowe Gallery

Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA 

Multiples 2011 

November 12 - January 2012  








Gemma Draper
Gemma Draper

Klimt02 Gallery Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Jewellery: Found in Translation

November 16 thru 2012







Gerda Flockinger
Gerda Flockinger


Mobilia Gallery

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA 

Objects of Status, Power and Adornment

Asagi Maeda: New Work

October 19 - December 31, 2011   







Patina Gallery

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Barbara Heinrich, 'Splendiforous'

December 23, 2011 - January 1, 2012







Helena Lindholm

Stockholm, Sweden
Helena Lindholm

November 24 - December 23, 2011


Suzanne Carlsen


Quirk Gallery

Richmond, Virginia, USA 

Suzanne Carlsen

December 1 - 24, 2011 

Sparkle Plenty 7: Organ/ism

November 3 - December 24, 2011













Shibumi Gallery

Berkeley, California, USA 

Karen Gilbert Trunk Show
December 10-11, 2011










Bruce Metcalf
Bruce Metcalf


Snyderman Works

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA 

Bruce Metcalf, 'Venus Adorned', featuring work by Jillian Moore 

Kate Cusack 

December 2, 2011 - January 3, 2012 










Ron Bayuzick
Ron Bayuzick




Society for Contemporary Craft

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Associated Artists of Pittsburgh 101st Annual Exhibition

November 11, 2011 - January 14, 2012








Andrea Wiliams
Andrea Williams



Taboo Studio

San Diego, California, USA 

Jingle This - A group exhibition  

November 18 - December 30, 2011 










Karl Fritsch 

The National

Auckland, New Zealand

Karl Fritsch, 'Karli Karli'

November 25 - December 25, 2011










Red Clay Menagerie 


The Signature Shop and Gallery

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Red Clay Menagerie and Peter Rose

December 2, 2011 - January 7, 2012 







Paul Marioni
Paul Marioni



Traver Gallery

Seattle, Washington, USA 

KK Cribbs and Paul Marioni   

November 17 - December 31, 2011 







Thomas Hill
Thomas Hill


Velvet da Vinci

San Francisco, California, USA 

Holidays at Velvet da Vinci
December 1 - 31, 2011

The Wall Street Journal has a little bit of difficulty with the definition of 'contemporary' jewelry. 


ARTINFO covers the inaugural Pavilion of Arts and Design fair in New York City, and notes that jewelry is one of the things on display.  


Liesbeth den Besten's new book on contemporary jewelry is published by Arnoldsche. 


The New York Times celebrates the revival of the artisan 


The New York Times also reviewed MAD's Crafting Modernism show


And Architectural Digest gets in on the action with this article on the other MAD show 'Picasso to Koons: Artist as Jeweler.'


Here's a few of the recent books on contemporary jewelry that caught AJF's eye. (Special thanks to Charon Kransen Arts for providing the bibliographic information and summaries. You can order any of these books by visiting their website.)



A catalog of contemporary art jewelry by 21 international artists, working principally in wood. Selected by Caroline Van Hoek from Caroline Van Hoek Contemporary Art Jewelry, Brussels. Full color. $35.00


The Spirit of Stone

Exhibition catalog accompanying the exhibition of the same name in Lappeenranta, Finland, which explores the world of stone in a broad sense: its history, its spirit, the human relationship with stone and how stone inspires artists. It includes entries in the Spirit of Stone international jewelry competition. Full color. In English. 175 pages. $70.00


Stefano Marchetti: Oreficerie 1989-2011

New catalog of the work of this important Italian jeweler who just received the Marzee award for the past year. The catalog covers 22 years of his work and accompanies an exhibition at the museum in Vicenza. Full color. In Italian. $35.00


Ramn Puig Cuys

Survey catalog of the past 20 years of jewelry by this Spanish jeweler, who is head of the Escola Massana jewelry school in Barcelona. This catalog accompanies an exhibition in Legnica, during the 2011 silver festival. Full color. In English. $35.00


Sexy: 20th Legnica International Jewelry Competition

This annual event focuses on the creative aspect of art jewelry with the emphasis on the idea and interpretation. Features 44 international artists participating from around the world. In color. $35.00


Unexpected Thoughts: Contemporary Jewelry

Jewelry has been a prominent means of artistic and cultural expression in every civilizationand like all contemporary art it has undergone a significant evolution in recent decades. This book contains a wonderful collection of jewelry pieces as communicative and meditative objects. A Noovo publication. In English. 168 pages. $30.00


Elisabeth Defner: Man-Nature-Cosmos

Since her studies at the Vienna Academy of Applied Arts in the early 1960s, Defner has worked as an independent artist in Vienna, until 1976 cooperating with the jewelry artist Helfried Kodre in a workshop community. Her work is jewelry in a previously unknown style. 248 pages. 200 color illustrations. $85.00


Robert Baines: Metal

A publication on the occasion of Baines being named the sixth artist to receive the title of 'Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft.' 120 pages. Full color. In English. $52.00


Jewelry Now: Art, Fashion, Design

Does jewelry have a specific definition? What expertise, disciplines or knowledge are required to produce it? Is it art, fashion or design? Is making it an industrial or a craft skill? For the first time this book analyzes the complex nature of Italian jewelry, from territory to design, from production to the market, from distribution to training and the definition of new materials. 176 pages. In English. $55.00

by Damian Skinner
Five days out from opening night, the Society of Arts and Crafts (SAC)  in Boston is a site of purposeful activity. The previous exhibition has come down and is being packed away in preparation for sending back to the makers and new owners. The gallery walls are clear, the floor is dotted with empty boxes and rolls of bubble wrap. The next show, From Minimal to Bling: Contemporary Studio Jewelry, is due to open. Click to read more.
Dubh installationDUBH: DIALOGUES IN BLACK 
by Mike Holmes
Dubh, meaning "black" in Gaelic, is the basis of a new craft exhibition beautifully installed in a lavish Beaux-Arts mansion across the street from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The 1901 building is the home of the American Irish Historical Society and a surprising but sympathetic venue for contemporary craft. Click to read more.
The National Week for the Arts, a collaboration between Dutch museums, artists and art institutions, a professional jury and votes by the general public have made their choice from all realms of the arts: Ted Noten has won Artist of the Year 2012. In the ten years the prize has been awarded it is the first time a jewelry artist has won. Click to read more.


By Kerianne Quick  

Sieraad is a Dutch word commonly used for 'jewelry'. Though it literally means 'ornament' or 'adornment'. SIERAAD: International Jewelry Art Fair's goal is to adorn, but also to educate. This year SIERAAD is celebrating its tenth anniversary. The show began in 2001 with twenty-two artists showing on an indoor tennis court in Enschede. In 2011 there were 100 participants from 10 plus countries. Click to read more.

Ben LignelGET-A-BEN  

French jeweler, Art Jewelry Forum writer and proud papa Benjamin Lignel is the subject of an auction in Brussels this weekend. The auction includes jewelry by Lignel and photographic work by Elene Usdin and Enrico Bartolucci. Get your Ben. Click to read more.


By Kerianne Quick

B-side Down Town Art Jewellery Festival is a four day event created by and for jewelry artists. As an alternative, a 'b-side', to the Sieraad International Art Jewelry Fair, the festival presents artist created exhibitions and special performances across the city of Amsterdam. Initiated and organized in 2010 by MIN-Association, a group of three international jewellery designers: Maaike Ebbinge (NL), Iris Tsante (GR), Nomie Doge (CH), the festival aims to 'highlight different ways of thinking about and presenting art jewellery'. Click to read more.  


Curator Daniel DiCaprio talks about this year's exhibition at Quirk Gallery


Sparkle Plenty is the annual jewelry exhibition put on by Quirk Gallery in Richmond Virginia. And this year I was given the opportunity to curate it. As a jeweler I thought of the exhibitions that have inspired me in the past. I wanted to create a show that displayed my particular interests in jewelry and other new work that I find exciting. Click to read more.  


By Mah Rana 

Triennale Europenne Du Bijou Contemporain 2011 is the fourth triennial for contemporary jewellery held by the Belgium's World Craft Council (WCCBF). On each occasion the WCCBF hosts jewellers from Belgium and two other European countries as guests of honour. This year, Jorge Manilla, Martina Dempf and Cristina Filipe selected work from Belgium, Germany and Portugal respectively and each wrote introductory essays for the accompanying catalogue. Click to read more.