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We are at the end of a very successful year for Art Jewelry Forum and there are many changes taking place that will effect how we move into the future. We have new staff members and new board members who will influence our direction. What will that look like? I don't know yet and so we will both have to stay tuned.


You will find all my important announcements and the very best upcoming events in the list below. Please send us notices if you want to be considered for this list.


Susan Cummins

Chair, AJF


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We are pleased to announce the 2012 winner of the Emerging Artist Award is Noon Passama Sanpatchayapong. Noon received her Bachelor of Industrial Design from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (2005) and a Bachelor of Design from Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2010). Noon was chosen from more than 130 entries representing 25 countries.


The goal of the Emerging Artist Award is to acknowledge promise, innovation and individuality in art jewelry. Criteria used in judging were originality, depth of concept and quality of craftsmanship. Jurors for the 2012 competition were: Kelly L'Ecuyer, the Ellyn McColgan Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; Marjan Unger, a Dutch collector, curator, professor, and writer; and Farrah Al Dujaili, studio jeweler and 2012 winner of AJF's Emerging Artist Award. Passama will receive a cash award of $7500 US and Galerie Ra  will feature her work at the Collect fair in 2013. 


Noon submitted a necklace collection based on the chain form. Quoting Marjan Unger, 'The chain is the classic backbone of the jewelry field. Everything that matters in a good chain lies in one element and the way it links with its neighbors. The series of chains Noon developed is beautiful in its basic shapes and its proportions. Each one has a personality, one is fat and tasty, and another is angular and nervous. It is a brave subject to choose. It takes a very good artist to reach this level of expression within all the limits of a chain and to add something worthwhile to a very long history.'



Inspired American jeweler Lola Brooks was chosen to make the 2013 AJF membership pin. It's big, bold, fantastic metallic plastic! Lola is an artist, metalsmith, clotheshorse and occasional writer. She studied fashion at Pratt Institute, New York, New York and is a graduate from SUNY New Paltz, New York. She is currently the distinguished Lamar Dodd Professorial Chair at the University of Georgia, Athens. Lola has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, University of the Arts, Philadelphia and SUNY New Paltz. Thank you Lola for such a great addition to the ever-growing collection of  

AJF membership pins.    



We have added two wonderful members to the AJF board, Bella Neyman and Jenni Sorkin. These two bring new depth and energy to our small but energetic group. Welcome to both of you.


Bella Neyman is a young design historian and journalist based in New York City. Recent writing for AJF includes Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry Of Margaret De Patta, a review of the exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design in New York. Bella's jewelry and design articles have been published in magazines and newsprint and she blogs about design, fashion and jewelry on her website Objects Not Paintings. As you can see, there are many ways she will be an excellent addition to the AJF board.


Jenni Sorkin is on the faculty of the University of Houston, Texas and holds degrees from The Art Institute of Chicago, Bard College and a PhD from Yale University. She is interested in the confluence of gender and material culture and is currently completing a book titled Live Form: Craft as Participation. Jenni brings to the board an educator's perspective and the point of view of a jewelry outsider. Although she is deeply familiar with contemporary craft, Jenni has not spent time looking closely at jewelry. We welcome her viewpoint to direct the policies of the board.



For the past two years, Nancy Yoneyama has been the 'info' behind
info@artjewelryforum.org, the designer of all our mailings and the most organized and helpful administrator an organization can have. Unfortunately, she will be leaving at the end of the year. Even though Nancy was part time, it will require two people to replace her.

We are sad to be losing Nancy, but there is also some very good news---Rebekah Frank, a recent graduate of the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a smart and capable jeweler, will take over all the mailings and everything to do with organizing and keeping the website up to date. Rebekah has slowly eased into this position over the past several months, and now I want to officially welcome her to our team.

Joy Martin, my assistant for many years and a joy herself, has taken on the AJF's bookkeeping this past year. Now she will add everything relating to membership to her responsibilities. Joy will be manning the station at info@artjewelryforum.org.

Welcome to you both.


From December 5 through December 9 there are a slew of art fairs in Miami, Florida. AJF member galleries are participating in two of them. This could very well become the best location to see extraordinary jewelry. Goodbye SOFA New York and SOFA Santa Fe, and hello Florida!


The prestigious fair Design Miami features Caroline Van Hoek Contemporary Art Jewelry, Ornamentum and Antonella VillanovaRed Dot Art Fair lists Charon Kransen Arts and Donna Schneier Fine Arts among their participants. If you would like a VIP pass to one of these shows, get in touch with us right away so we can get it into 'will call' for you.


Merry Renk (1921-2012), Butterfly Tree (Californiana series), crown--silver and gold, 2 x 9 x 9 in. (5 x 22.8 x 22.8 cm.), executed in 1982-2009, photo: Christie's website

On November 14, 2012, Sotheby's Contemporary Day Auction sold an Alexander Calder necklace for $278,500.


Christie's sold a work by Merry Renk, one by Alexander Calder, and a Ruth Asawa crown.


LAMA (Los Angeles Modern Auctions)  

October Results 




Clars Auction Gallery in Oakland, California, will be featuring jewelry by  Salvador Dali.

Preview: December 7, 2012

Auction: December 8 and 9, 2012


LAMA (Los Angeles Modern Auctions)

December 16, 2012 auction includes brooches by Alexander Calder and Jean Arp.



November 1 - 4, 2012

SOFA Chicago

Susan Cummins


AJF had a space in the Partners Pavilion at SOFA Chicago 2012. We saw many of our friends and sponsors, and we signed up some new supporters as well---yea! We sponsored a talk by the fabulous Kiff Slemmons, and as expected, it was fantastic. (The talk soon will be available on the AJF website for your reading pleasure.) She also let us sell her new book Kiff Slemmons and Arte Papel Oaxaca Vol. 1 and 2 hot off the press.


A nice mixture of 28 makers, writers, collectors, and curators attended the AJF dinner. It was an excellent group with a lot to talk about. I really cherish these moments when I see the community come together and enjoy and regale each other with talk of jewelry.


Our presence at SOFA Chicago was smaller than last year when we presented the Geography exhibit. However, my sense was that many more people know us now and respect what we are doing. It was a great feeling.


November 2, 2012

KORU4 Symposium, Imatra, Finland

Rebekah Frank


The symposium held as part of the KORU4 event in Imatra, Finland, featured a varied roster of speakers. Davira Taragin was the keynote speaker and many contemporary jewelry artists spoke, including Ruudt Peters, Evert Nijland, Mia Maljojoki, and Anna Rikkinen. Two Finnish researchers brought an outside perspective to the conversation---Dr. Pia Tikka, whose research project utilizes film and neuroscience to understand human emotions, and Heidi Piili, whose expertise in laser technology peaked interest in how the technology can be used for contemporary jewelry. The symposium provided a springboard to future collaborations and gave the attendees ample topics for conversation during the ensuing Kindred Spirits exhibition and final dinner.


November 10, 2012

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show 

Legends: Studio Jewelry by Emily Cobb at The Philadelphia Art Alliance

and Mari and Peter Shaw's collection

Susan Cummins


Doug Bucci, AJF board member, professor, and maker had the great idea of putting together this event in Philadelphia. We had a lovely group of 15 people. Sarah Archer, chief curator at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, kindly hosted a walkthrough of the 36th annual Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. She took us to the booths of Biba Schutz, Ford and Forlano and John Iversen to name a few.   


Then, we zipped across town to the Philadelphia Art Alliance where Emily Cobb discussed her storytelling in Legends: Studio Jewelry by Emily Cobb. This is remarkable work for it utilizes new technology but retains the allure of imagination over  

the medium.   


The visit to Mari and Peter Shaw's lovely row house had me envying parts of both their art and jewelry collections. I was particularly taken by the Manfred Bischoff brooch Mari was wearing and by the tasty little Robert Ryman in the dining room. Thank you to everyone involved for your gracious hosting and organizing of this event.



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 Museum Profiles, an interview by Damian Skinner with Ursula Ilse-Neuman, curator at the Museum of Art and Design.    


Damian Skinner: And when you say you love art jewelry, what does that mean?


Ursula Ilse-Neuman: I love the fact that contemporary jewelry has meaningful content---it is about social and political, philosophical and existential issues of great importance today. I love the experimentation and innovation, too. Craftsmanship and mastery of materials and techniques are critical and artists frequently introduce cutting-edge materials and techniques to create new and highly expressive forms. I love seeing traditions transformed or subverted. And I love the idea that contemporary jewelry is not pure ornament but introduces concepts related to the human body and psyche and frequently addresses ideas prevalent in the visual arts today. One of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of my role is getting to know jewelry artists. They are very special people and I admire their dedication and how they are able work in a small, intimate format to express big ideas. Read more... 



This month's AJF Questionnaire has been answered by Charon Kransen of Charon Kransen Arts, New York City, New York.  


Damian Skinner: How do you think the future of this business will develop?


Charon Kransen: In my bad moments I think everybody is going to go in the direction of mainstream, totally accessible commercial jewelry. In my good moments I believe this is still a growing field of people who desperately want to distinguish themselves and have the means to do so. We and the makers offer people things most people don't even know they want, need, desire. We fulfill a need and wet people's appetite to enhance their lives. Read more...  


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







Putti Art Gallery

Valdis Broze

November 29, 2012 - December 8, 2012 










Galerie Rob Koudijs  

Fielike van de Leest: Once Upon a Time in My West (part 2)   

November 3, 2012 - December 22, 2012 










Society of Contemporary Craft

Badges & Buttons, Waistcoats & Vests 

October 12, 2012 - February 17, 2013  










Galerie Spektrum

Doris Betz/Attai Chen

November 22, 2012 - January 26, 2013 











Ulla + Martin Kaufmann

November 29, 2012 - December 8, 2012










Traver Gallery

Nancy Worden

November 15, 2012 - December 23, 2012








What Is It That Renders Contemporary Jewelry Precious? 

Musee de Design et d'arts Appliquies Contemorains (MUDAC), Lausanne, Switzerland

Ongoing from October 19


The Body Adorned

Curated by Gail Brown

SNAG exhibition online



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, 2012 - December 2, 2012


D X Ross / Talismans 

Foosaner Art Museum 

to Jan 6, 2013 


The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
through January 6, 2013


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, 2012 to March 3, 2013


Legends: Studio Jewelry by Emily Cobb

Philadelphia Art Alliance

September 6, 2012 - December 10, 2012


40 Under 40: Craft Futures

The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
July 20, 2012 - 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.