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The year is off to a racing start for AJF. I don't know when I have felt so overwhelmed in January, which is usually such a quiet month. We have a number of events and trips that have required an amazing amount of planning and I am particularly grateful to Nancy Yoneyama, the AJF assistant, Linda Peshkin, the membership chair and Stefan Friedmann from Ornamentum for all their hard work on arranging the Munich trip. Any travel agents or experienced travel planners out there who want to help with trips in the future, please contact me!


We are happy to welcome two new members onto the AJF board and sad to bid farewell to two old board members this year. Leaving are Mike Holmes, who has been a passionate and giving member of the board for a number of years and Sally von Bargen (she has been threatening to leave for a year and now really is) who has been treasurer, book keeper and web overseer. Thank you both for your many, many hours of devotion to making AJF what it is today. While they can never be replaced, we are pleased to welcome Doug Bucci, a maker and professor from Philadelphia and an all round smart and lovely man and Marion Fulk, who has been a collector member of AJF since its beginnings and brings her talents as a financial consultant to the board.


It is time to take a look at the events taking place early in 2012 and start making plans. Here are the ones that we think are particularly noteworthy. Most of them are annual events that offer excellent opportunities to meet makers, see new work - perhaps even acquire some new jewelry.

  • Object Rotterdam in the Netherlands February 9-12, 2012


  • American Craft Council fair in Baltimore, February 24-26, 2012 (see below for tickets)


  • Schmuck exhibition in Munich, March 14-20, 2012. You can find out more about our trip in this newsletter.


  • SOFA New York, April 19-23, 2012. Don't forget that AJF offers you VIP passes to SOFA New York, Santa Fe and Chicago.


  • COLLECT in London from May 11, 2012.


  • SNAG conference, this year taking place in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, May 23-26 2012. Registration is now open. Garth Clark is the keynote speaker with a talk called 'Who's Your Daddy?', which promises to be Garth at his provocative and witty best.

The Geography show makes its last appearance in the latest Metalsmith magazine in a review by Pat Nelson. All the work has been returned to the AJF member galleries so the catalog and this review will be the final evidence of its existence.

 Ted Noten for AJF

It is time for many of you to renew your memberships and if you haven't done so yet please click here. Don't forget that you will receive a specially commissioned pin by Ted Noten when you join in 2012. We feel privileged to have such a robust list of the most important makers, curators, writers, teachers, gallerists and collectors as our members. If you know of someone we have missed, please direct them to the membership page. Thanks for your help.


Cheers to you and the New Year.


Susan Cummins

AJF Chair



ACC BaltimoreACC Baltimore 

Once again the American Craft Council is offering free tickets to their Baltimore show which runs from February 24-26, 2012. This is the largest fine craft show in the United States with over 700 exhibitors under one roof. To get your free ticket, go to the ACC ticketing website and enter coupon code AJF2012.  One ticket per member. 


Border Grill LA
Craft in Los Angeles

Please join AJF and the Craft and Folk Art Museum for dinner and brilliant conversation on February 24, 2012. We have planned a dinner during the College Art Association conference and specifically invited the Critical Craft Forum panelists Namita Wiggers, Elizabeth Agro, Ezra Shales, Elissa Auther, Glenn Adamson, Jenni Sorkin, Julia Bryan-Wilson and Damian Skinner to join us. The dinner is conveniently located downtown for all to attend.


Friday February 24, 2012, 7:30 pm

Border Grill Downtown LA

445 S. Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071



Pre-fix menu $30.00 per person plus bar.

Hosts: Susan Cummins & Suzanne Isken


Please rsvp to Suzanne@cafam.org or 323.937.4230 x 27


Cohen's RestaurantWith so much activity around Schmuck, how could we not be a part of it?  AJF is having a member dinner Friday March 16 at Cohen's at 7pm. Recommended by everyone we spoke to, we have secured a reservation and planned a wonderful meal. The event is open to all members and we hope to see many of you there. RSVP is required as space is limited. Cost is US $80 inclusive.

Send us an email by March 9, 2012 to hold your place. We will forward details and payment instructions. 


AJF is inviting applications for the 2012 Exhibition grant. We have a total of $7500 to give to any museum, university and other non-profit exhibition spaces or organization that is tax-exempt in the United States under Section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code. Your exhibition needs to be opening within the next two years and the grant may cover exhibition or catalog expenses. The deadline for submission is March 15, 2012. You can find out more about the program and the requirements on the AJF website
The 2010 award was given to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, to support publication of a catalog for Atelier Janiye and the Legacy of Miya Matsukata. In 2011, the exhibition award helped fund the catalog for Geography, an exhibition organized by AJF of work from AJF member galleries, which was shown in May 2011 at the Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference in Seattle and in November 2011 at SOFA Chicago.



Stephen Knott reviews London Design Week 2011.



The final trip dates to Munich are March 15-18, 2012. We've found a hotel, restaurants, galleries and exhibits. We're ready to go.

Here's the itinerary: 

March 15: Gallery exhibits, Schmuck tour, first night group dinner 
March 16: Exhibition opening at Pinakothek de Moderne, Danner Rotunda tour, lunch, Academy of Fine Arts, studio visits, AJF member dinner
March 17: Private collection visit, lunch, gallery exhibits, beer hall celebration 
March 18: Lecture at the Pinakothek, group closing lunch

The AJF fee includes group meals, museum entry fees and gratuities. We have daily menu pricing so you can customize your trip. We will provide a hotel recommendation. The cost of hotel accommodation, meals outside the group and transportation to and from Munich are up to you.

Last call! Please send Nancy a quick email to let us know if you want to take part and we'll send you the details for signing up.


In each newsletter we will introduce you to one of the galleries that has joined AJF to support and promote contemporary jewelry. This month's AJF Questionnaire has been answered by Paul Derrez of Galerie Ra, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


35 years old - that means Galerie Ra is almost middle-aged! What keeps you opening the door year after year?

Its more than just opening the door . . . It's a mixture of passion, addiction, commitment, vision, skills, labour and discipline. Read more...


The new website features six member galleries on the home page that have exhibitions of note each month. They will rotate throughout the year, so you will get a good survey of what's on around the globe. This month we feature the following galleries (click photos for more info):


DeNovo Gould 2  Tobias Alm Galerie Rob Koudijs  VdV Myung Urso


DeNovo: The Annual Valentine Show

Galerie Rob Koudijs: Tobias Alm, 'Traces of function' and Terhi Tolvanen, 'Introduction' 

Gallery Loupe: Kiff Slemmons, 'Huesos'

The National: Octavia Cook, 'The Possession Obsession of Cocoa Vitako'

Taboo Studio: 'Color and Form' 

Velvet da Vinci: Myung Urso, 'Signature' and The De Patta Project  


Jewelry by Visual Artists





In January AJF heard voices. Well, we heard from the minds of makers in a series called Maker's Tool. The instigation for the series was a museum show about using tools. What tools do jewelers love? For this group of jewelers it turns out that it's a rolling millstereomicroscope, torch,  a grinding machine, the head, and the center punch


We questioned original display and mourned the passing of an old friend. And finally we interviewed a jeweler who went on a journey. Next month there will be more from artists in the Maker's Tool series and we will add in selections from collectors and curators as well.


Ruudt's brain


Here are 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.)


Konrad Mehus - Stories in Jewellery

This is the first monograph on the Norwegian jewelry artist Konrad Mehus, who has held an important position in Norwegian art since the end of the 1960s. His objects significantly stretch our notion what jewelry can be, not just as adornment but rather a means of communication. 200 pages. 100 color illustrations. In English. $70.00


Peter Bauhuis - Jewellery and Vessels - ABECEDARIUM

The work of Peter Bauhuis in jewelry and objects is characterized by experimenting with the process of casting and melting metals. By playfully oxidizing gold, silver and copper he achieves unexpected colors from white and pale green-yellow to deep orange and dark red. His process results in a lightness which is remarkable for metal. 160 pages. 150 color illustrations. In English. $50.00


On Jewellery - A Compendium of International Contemporary Art Jewellery

Written by Liesbeth den Besten, this book offers a comprehensive overview of the tendencies and role of contemporary international jewelry art from the 1960s to today, shown within the context of corresponding trends in art and society. It is dedicated to themes such as interdisciplinary collaboration, new means of presentation and contextualization and offers a synopsis of what jewelry art is and can be. 192 pages. 150 color illustrations. $50.00


From Picasso to Jeff Koons - The Artist As Jeweler

This book presents over 200 pieces of jewelry designed by the greatest artists of the twentieth and twenty-first century, including Calder, Ernst, Dali, Saint-Phalle, Lichtenstein, Bourgeois, Kapoor, Koons. 240 pages. Full color. In english. $70.00


Ra Present - 35 Years Ra Gallery

On the occasion of their 35th anniversary, Galerie Ra produced a book which accompanies the exhibition celebrating this great event. It includes work by all Ra artists. Text in English and Dutch. Full color. $44.00 (See the interview with Paul above)


Preziosa Young 2011

Catalog of the competition organized by the Arti Orafe school in Florence, Italy, with international participants, being young jewelry artists. In color. In English. 43 pages. $30.00


Surface and Substance - International Contemporary Enamel Jewellery

Catalog of a 2011 exhibition curated by Jessica Turell, showing the most innovative use of enamel in jewelry. Participating are 30 international artists. Full color. 52 pages. $40.00



On the home page of our new website we have a changing list of the interesting, strange and wonderful ways that contemporary jewelry is hitting the headlines. Why not find out what has been attracting our curiosity at AJF Recommends . . .