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There's some sad news this month - and some exciting news. At the end of the year, Damian Skinner will be leaving his position as AJF Editor. Damian blew into town three-and-a-half years ago, full of enthusiasm and high standards, and pushed AJF to step up our game. In all truthfulness, I have to acknowledge that he is the one who has made AJF what it is today. It has been a tumultuous, exciting time and we have accomplished a huge amount. Now, Damian has decided to move on to other projects and interests. We will be sad to lose him but wish him well wherever his passion leads. We also hope that Damian will continue to lend his razor-sharp brain to our pages and share with our readers the outcomes of his ongoing investigations on jewelry.  


The exciting news is that we have hired Benjamin Lignel as our new AJF Editor. Ben, who's French, is a member of the organization,Think Tank and one of the founders of the non-profit, La Garantie.  He's a maker who is highly respected in contemporary jewelry circles and he has also been involved in writing the AJF book, Jewelry in Perspective (due out in August 2013). Ben, who lives in Paris, will start in January and is mulling over his plans for the upcoming year. Welcome Ben. We are eager to see how you will direct the future intellectual content of AJF. 


And we've further glad tidings: we've also hired Marthe Le Van as our Director of Communications. Marthe established Lark Books as the publisher of numerous books on contemporary jewelry and she has contributed to popularizing the field in a major way. She was also instrumental in getting AJF's Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective into production. You can read an interview with her on our website. We are thrilled to have her help to promote our work on the website, through social media and in many other ways. Welcome Marthe. We will be delighted to begin our work with you.


The AJF board couldn't be happier with our new staff members and we hope to enhance our effectiveness in the field with their help.


The applications are in for the Emerging Artist Award and the jurying will take place sometime in November. One thought to ponder about the process is this: why do jewelers wait until the very last day, the very last hour and, in some cases, the very last minute to complete their applications? We announce the prize many months in advance and the CAFÉ system is open for applications for four months before the deadline. Should we change something?


Once again I have listed all the upcoming events of importance . . . that I know of anyway . . . please send us notices if you want to be considered for this list. We have planned two events in November 2012, one in Chicago at SOFA and one in Philadelphia. We hope to see you there.


Susan Cummins

Chair, AJF


PS Friend us on Facebook   



SOFA chicago LogoAJF will have a space in the Partners Pavilion at SOFA Chicago. Come see us and bring your friends to say hi.   


We will also be sponsoring a talk by the fabulous speaker Kiff Slemmons on Saturday November 3.



Friday November 2

9 - 10am: 'SNAG Emerging Artists 2012' - Heejin Hwang, Andrew Kuebeck, and Emanuela Duca

10 - 11am: 'Gothic: Jewelry on the Edge' - Majorie Simon

12:30 - 1:30pm: 'Killer Jewels' - Paul McClure

1:30pm: Edgar Mosa will be giving a talk at the booth #206 of Charon Kransen Arts

2:00pm: Emanuela Duca will give a talk at booth #1201 Hedone Gallery


Saturday November 3rd

12:30 - 1:30pm: 'More than One to Make One: A Look at the Jewelry of Kiff Slemmons.' Kiff Slemmons, AJF sponsored speaker

3:30- 4:30pm: 'Among Fellow: A conversation with Bruce Pepich' -  Bruce Pepich (one of our member curators) in conversation with Perry Price


Sunday November 4th

3pm: 'Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography' with Ursula Ilse-Neuman in the Audi Discussion Lounge


This is the fourth in a series of symposiums held in Finland. The program is all in English and features American, Scandinavian and European speakers. Some of the speakers include: Davira Taragin, Ruudt Peters, Evert Nijland, Mia Maljojoki and Pau Faus. Also presenting are Pia Tikka, a FInnish filmaker and Heidi Piili, a Finnish researcher at the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences in laser technology. 



40 Under 40The Renwick Gallery is also sponsoring a free symposium in conjunction with the 40 Under 40: Craft Futures show on November 8 - 9, 2012, in Washington DC with a full cast of the usual great speakers like, Glenn Adamson, Ulysses Grant Dietz, Elissa Auther, Sandra Alfoldy, Ezra Shales, Jenni Sorkin and Gabriel Craig, to name a few. 


PA Craft Show LogoIn conjunction with the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Women's Committee, AJF is proud to host a guided tour with Sarah Archer, Chief Curator of the Philadelphia Art Alliance, at the 36th Annual Philadelphia Craft Show. Archer will discuss the works of selected jewelry artists, including this years Craft Show guest artists from both Ireland and Britain. The tour will be on Saturday, November 10 at 3pm. Following the tour at about 4pm we will cab it over to the Art Alliance to see Legends: Studio Jewelry by Emily Cobb including brooches, neckpieces and rings - highly original pieces that illustrate modern fairy tales and fables. Emily is a resident of Philadelphia and a recent graduate at Tyler School of Art where she learned to use computer software to aid her designs. Emily Cobb will be there to tell us about the work.  


Emily Cobb

To cap off the day we will have all been invited to walk down the street to Mari Shaw's house for a cocktail and a tour at around 5.30 pm. Mari's house is a five-story town house designed by Frank Furness in the mid-1860s. Emily Cobb will come along with us and will discuss the exhibition of thirteen young jewelry artists she curated for the house. Mari will be happy to take those who are interested on a tour of her collection of contemporary painting, sculpture, drawings and jewelry.


Attendance is limited to twelve people and we still have a few openings. The cost is $25 each. Send us an email by November 5 to sign up

Follow Up:


Jewelry of the Americas, the Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts' annual conference took place October 7 in New York City. With one hundred people in attendance one speaker after another delivered original lectures on fascinating subjects. One of the highlights included a surprise appearance by famed Navaho/Hopijewelry artist Jesse Monongya following the lecture about his work by Lois Sherr Dubin. He spoke briefly about his work and charmed the audience. "A Story to Wear" was also debuted, the trailer for a film on jewelry history being supported by ASJRA. 




The AJF website has many layers of information and articles. Perhaps there is a section or two you haven't visited? Here's a taste of one of our Collector Profiles: Lasse and Helena Pahlman.


Lasse: I would like to say, the world is going too much now in trends and everybody is doing the same thing. Jewelry artists are educated in Germany, they go to Spain, they go to Lappeenranta, they go to everywhere and then they combine all these things. Some are very personal but there are some trends that are everywhere and you cannot find any difference. It would be interesting to analyze the difference between the schools and whether you can recognize who is the teacher! But Estonia was for a long time a part of Russia and was separated from western jewelry. They had, and still have, a very personal way of working which you perhaps can recognize and see that it comes from Estonia. Read more...


This month's AJF Questionnaire has been answered by Stefan Friedeman of Gallery Ornamentum in Hudson, New York.


Please tell us the story of how you and your wife Laura Lapachin ended up opening a gallery in Hudson, New York.


Long story . . . Laura and I met studying metalsmithing at Wayne State in Detroit under the late Philip Fike in the early 1990s. After becoming a pair, we traveled to Pforzheim, Germany, where we schooled further for three years. During this time our aesthetic changed dramatically and, of course, we made many great contacts. After this experience we felt that the Northeast was more suited to us and we settled for two years in Providence where we worked in the industry and had some contact with the program at RISD. It didn't feel like home so we continued looking - as far as Colorado - for somewhere to settle and start what was at that time planned as being a studio/atelier somewhere. How our plan developed into a serious gallery is another (long) story, requiring a campfire and alcohol!  



Charon Kransen has a list of over 700 books about contemporary jewelry. Contact him at charon@charonkransenarts.com if you are interested in purchasing any of the following and tell him where you heard about it.


A Girl's Best Friends

This book features work by outstanding jewelry designers including Ted Noten, Saskia Diez, by:AMT and Kelsey Quan, fashion labels such as Bless; creatives working with cutting-edge technologies such as Nervous System; and a range of innovative designers from other disciplines. 256 pages. Full color. $48.00 US.


From the Coolest Corner - Nordic Jewelry

With 160 works by artists from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and the Baltic states, this publication considers the significance, strategies and trends of Nordic jewelry art in the early 21st century. Expert authors present the backgrounds, developments and characteristics of the contemporary jewelry. 248 pages. 180 color illustrations, hardcover with dust jacket. $70.00 US.


Aftermatch of Art Jewelry

This book presents a creative and ground-breaking assessment of the role and potential of contemporary jewelry art in the early 21st century, based on exchanges between four artists from Oslo and four from Munich, all of whom are pioneering representatives of the young generation who distinguish themselves through their own distinct concepts, their unusual choice of materials and their extensive investigation of technical possibilities and skills. 80 pages. 50 color illustrations. $40.00 US


Jewelbook - International Annual of Contemporary Jewel Art

This book is the result of international teamwork, showing contemporary jewelry handcrafted by the world's finest modern jewelry artists. It not only illustrates the most innovative works in contemporary jewelry, but also offers support to jewelry as cultural expression of our time and is destined to become an important reference work in this field of art. 567 pages. 550 color, 195 b/w illustrations. $65.00 US


I am am Other - Israeli Jewelry 6  

This book is published in conjunction with the jewelry exhibition of the same name at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv, right now, 2012. It features illustrations and texts about the works of 35 jewelry artists dealing with the subject of the alter ego. Full color. In English. $45.00 US


Push Jewelry

30 leading contemporary jewelry artists pushing the limits with their innovative designs, in an astounding diversity of materials. The work included in this thrilling gallery collection was compiled by jeweler Arthur Hash. This book will inspire, surprise, delight and occasionally, perhaps, even enrage you. Full color. 176 pages. $24.95 US


Unexpected Pleasures  

2012 publication on the occasion of the exhibition Unexpected Pleasures: The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewelry, organized by the Design Museum, London and edited by jeweler Susan Cohn from Australia. 240 pages. In English. Full color. $55.00 US



This month we feature the following galleries on the AJF website.  

Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h
Atta Gallery
Taweesak Molsawat


Gallery Lulo
Emily Bixler: RE : Work

Velvet Da Vinci
Mirror, Mirror
Gallery S O
Manuel Vilhena: Miss Amelia & 1001 Rings
Gallery Ornamentum
Sam Tho Duong: lemitcA









The Body Adorned

Curated by Gail Brown

SNAG exhibition online



Museum of Time, Besancon, France
until November 15th

Francesco Pavan: More than Gold 

Neuesmuseum Staatliches Museum Fur Kunst und Design, Nurnberg, Germany

From October 26, 2012


Angel's Tears of Gems of the Ocean - Pearls in the History of Jewellery

Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim
October 26, 2012 - January 27, 2013 


Master Metalsmith 2012: Eleanor Moty

Metal Museum, Memphis, TN  

September 7 to December 2, 2012


D. X. Ross / Talismans 

Foosaner Art Museum 

to Jan 6, 2013 


The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures fro the Skier Collection  
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
through January 6, 213


In the Garden of Delight: Adornments by Arline Fisch

Curated by Jo Lauria

Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA

Until January 6, 2013


Unexpected Pleasures

Curated by Susan Cohn

Design Museum, London, England

December 5 to March 3, 2013


Annamaria Zanella: Oltre l'ornamento
Palazzo Fortuny, Venice Italy

September 1 - November 19, 2012  


Legends: Studio Jewelry by Emily Cobb

Philadelphia Art Alliance

September 6 - December 10, 2012


"Classics:" Rein Mets 

Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design

September 15 - November 4, 2012


40 Under 40: Craft Futures

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
July 20 - February 3, 2013

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
July 19, 2011 - July 1, 2014

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.