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Happy New Year!  


We're off and running in 2013 with boundless enthusiasm. We hope you had the opportunity to take advantage of one or more of our activities last year and that our monthly newsletter kept you entertained and informed. Like you, our passion for contemporary jewelry is strong and continues to grow. Thanks so much for your help and support.



Ted Noten's 2012 AJF pin
Launched New Website
We published insightful original content several times a week.
What other organization produces this much?
94 Blogs
40 Articles
27 Book Reviews
13 Exhibition Reviews
5 Dissertations
12 Newsletters
191 Total Posts

Hosted Networking Events
2012 EAA winner Noon Passama Sanpatchayapong, Twisted Chain 
We offered 11 opportunities to meet, study, and mingle with art jewelry enthusiasts worldwide. These included exclusive tours of public and private collections, curator- and artist-led walkthroughs, private dinners, and complimentary VIP passes to art fairs.

 Awarded Prizes
2012's Exhibition Grant went to Randy Long and Nicole Jacquard from Indiana University for Shift: Contemporary Makers that Define, Expand, and Contradict the Field of Art Jewelry. 2012's Emerging Artist Award was given to Noon Passama Sanpatchayapong.

Commissioned Member Pin
Ted Noten, Artist of the Year in the Netherlands, designed a pin exclusively for supporters.
AJF's new editor Benjamin Lignel
Surveyed the Membership & the Field
Thank you for weighing in on how we're doing. Your responses help shape the future of our organization.

Increased the Board of Directors
Four new members were added this year: Marion Fulk, Doug Bucci, Bella Neyman, and Jenni Sorkin


New Editor
Benjamin Lignel takes the reins as our new editor.

Lola Brooks' 2013 AJF pin
Book Launch
Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective
will be promoted by workshops, lectures, discussions, and signings. We're partnering with museums, schools, galleries, and private collectors in different communities. The West Coast tour will feature Benjamin Lignel and Namita Wiggers. Damian Skinner will headline the East Coast tour with other participants, and a European tour is in the works.

Commissioned Member Pin
Lola Brooks made our 2013 membership pin. It is a beautiful, shiny gem.

Reevaluating Award Program
We remain committed to supporting individual artists, research, and scholarship, and are taking a close look at how we can improve our existing programs.
Upcoming AJF 2013 trip to Amsterdam
Look for announcements throughout the year.

Amsterdam in Depth
Travel with us to the Netherlands in October 2013, and experience a one-of-a-kind, jewelry-centric itinerary!

So there you have it! We are looking forward to lots of fresh approaches to writing about jewelry and to celebrating this wonderful field we're all so committed to supporting.

Happy new year and best wishes,

Susan Cummins

Chair, AJF


PS: Friend us on Facebook.



The annual gathering of jewelers and jewelry enthusiasts will take place in Munich again from March 6-10. This year, there are two sorely needed attempts to organize maps and locations for all the shows that pop up during that time. Current Obsession is working on a map and list and so is Handwerkskammer für München und Oberbayern  

the organizer of the event. Since it is sometimes hard to find a list of those invited to participate, I have attached one here. We will be planning another get together in Munich, so please let me know if you are going to be there so I can send you the details. 
CALENDAR ESPECIALLY FOR YOU: Conference & Exhibition in Oslo, Norway  
The Northern LIghts in action last winter over Northern Norway. PHOTO: John Stenersen
The Northern Lights in 2012, Northern Norway, photo: John Stenersen

Oslo in January? Yup.  


The incorrigible will gather from January 14-18 in the dark to celebrate contemporary jewelry. Coolest Corner includes an exhibition, conference, workshop, and catalog.


It sounds like a wonderful event.

CALENDAR ESPECIALLY FOR YOU: Residency in Amsterdam, the Netherlands  


The Francoise van den Bosch Foundation invites jewelry artists to apply for a two month working period (May and June 2013) in a studio apartment near the center of Amsterdam. It is the third time the foundation has offered this opportunity to live and work in one of the most active jewelry communities in the world. 

Lips, brooch, fabricated by Henryk Kaston for Salvador Dali, 18K yellow gold, cultured pearl, and rubies 



Earl Pardon brooch sold for $2750

Clars Auction Gallery

Salvador Dali jewelry

Ruby lips sold for $15,000

Tristan and Isolde brooch sold for $4000

Pomegranate Heart brooch sold for $7500

Honeycomb Heart brooch sold for $3500

LAMA- Los Angeles Modern Auctions

Alexander Calder brooch sold for $37,500

Jean Arp brooch sold for $30,000

WHAT YOU MISSED: Miami Fairs   


Attending the Miami fairs was an overwhelming experience. There were acres and acres of booths and thousands of artworks to see. The jewelry was mostly concentrated at the Design Miami fair with a couple of booths at the Red Dot fair. The best overview I have come upon isn't directly about the design fair. Rather, it is an interview with almost all the galleries showing jewelry there. Written by Brook Mason for Modern Magazine, the article is called The New Art de Vivre: Five Dealers in Artist Jewelry Discuss the Market. 

Kiff Slemmons, Huipil


As a result of the Kiff Slemmons talk we sponsored at SOFA Chicago, freelance journalist Amy Yee wrote an article for the International Herald Tribune which shows up on the New York Times website. The title of the article is A Jewelry Maker Who Goes Far Beyond Metal. We will acknowledge that Kiff is an amazing speaker and artist, but we can take some credit for creating an opportunity for the mainstream press to pick up on this story.


Art Alliance show with Emily Cobb & Mari and Peter Shaw's collection

Nicole Polentas, Hatt-1 Humayun, 2011


Bella Neyman, our new board member and an aspiring writer, came along on the Philadelphia trip in November. Consequently, she wrote a post for her blog called Emily Cobb and Nicole Polentas: Jewelry That Tells a Story, Both Fiction and Nonfiction.

Nancy Worden, Frozen Dreams, 2004


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 Rock Hushka, Director of Curatorial Administration and Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art at Tacoma Art Museum.  


Damian Skinner: Has contemporary jewelry always been collected by the museum?  


Rock Hushka: We started collecting in the early 1990s, right after we did a Ken Cory project. The jewelry collection is the fastest growing component of our permanent collection. I've tried to be really thoughtful about how we grow it. I've been a little bit conservative in a certain way, in that I've always focused more on narrative jewelry rather than wearable, purely decorative, more production-line stuff. I've shied away from that because it's easier to tell the story to a visitor. Artists like Nancy Worden or Ken Cory or Laurie Hall or Kiff Slemmons have really infused their works with certain kinds of meaning, so to preserve that history has been first and foremost on my docket. But now that I'm feeling a little bit more comfortable with the history and the tradition and the makers, I've slowly been bringing in other kinds of work. Although, in a museum context, its way easier if there's narrative content.  

Read more... 


Lisa Walker, Blue Pendant, 2011


This month's AJF Questionnaire is featured on the website. It was handled jointly by Susan Cummins and Kamal Nassif and answered by Katie Scott of Gallery Funaki, Melbourne, Australia.  


Kamal Nassif: How would you describe the Melbourne jewelry scene in an international context? What do you think are key qualities that identify works as Australian?


Katie Scott: That's a tricky question. I'm not an expert on the Melbourne jewelry scene by any means. There are galleries here that specialize much more in that area. I would say that we have one of the most vibrant, active scenes in the world. We have university programs at Monash University and RMIT, excellent TAFE programs (all of which soldier on despite savage cuts in funding) and galleries that represent all points on the spectrum between commercial and art jewelry. That means there are a lot of makers and a lot of exposure to the craft here. I don't think it's going too far to say that contemporary jewelry is part of the city's identity. Read more... 


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

Velvet da Vinci
Monochrome Noir
January 9 - February 15, 2013
Metal Museum
Lola Brooks: Tributaries
December 7 - February 17, 2013

Galerie Marzee
Lucy Sarneel
Until February 27, 2013
Charon Kransen Arts
Art Palm Beach: Julia Barello
January 24 - 28, 2013

Vander A Gallery
Clarisse Bruynbroeck
January 10 - February 8, 2013

Antonella Villanova

Manfred Bischoff: Helpless in Gold
November 22 - February 2, 2013





Foosaner Art Museum, Melbourne, Florida  

Until January 6, 2013


Curated by Jo Lauria

Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA

Until January 6, 2013
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
Until January 6, 2013

MMKA, Arnhem, The Netherlands

November 24 - January 27, 2013
Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim, Pforzheim, Germany 
October 26, 2012 - January 27, 2013
The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
July 20, 2012 - February 3, 2013

Vigeland Museum, Oslo, Norway

January 18 - February 10, 2013

Curated by Susan Cohn

Design Museum, London, England

December 5, 2012 - March 3, 2013 

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

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

Ongoing from October 19, 2012 

Neuesmuseum Staatliches Museum Fur Kunst und Design, Nurnberg, Germany

From October 26, 2012

Curated by Gail Brown

SNAG exhibition online


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.