AJF Logo





Kumu Museum, Tallin, Estonia,
photo: Susan Cummins

So now we are in the summer doldrums. All the excitement of the spring--the conferences, fairs, graduate programs, Amsterdam signups, applications for the AJF Artist Award--is behind us. Let's take some time to relax and think of all the people who make our lives just a little bit better. I haven't thanked people in my letter for a long time, and so I thought this might be the perfect opportunity.


I want to thank the board and volunteers of AJF, especially Susan Kempin and Linda Peshkin for planning the Amsterdam trip, Susan Kempin (again) and Gail Hufjay for organizing the AJF artist award, Linda Peshkin (again) and Raissa Bump for helping on the new AJF brochure, Doug Bucci for working with the artists on the AJF pins, Marion Fulk for monitoring the books, Bella Neyman for persisting in organizing the Speakers Tour for the fall, and Jenni Sorkin, Sienna Patti, and Liesbeth den Besten for their perspectives on the publication committee.


Then, of course, we are all indebted to the great staff here led by the main brain Ben Lignel who commissions articles for the website, the diligent and delightful Marthe Le Van who proofreads all the numerous texts and doubles as our Facebook attendant, the über-organized Rebekah Frank who posts everything you see on the website and in Constant Contact, and last but not least the enthusiastic Joy Martin, bookkeeper and membership manager. What a great team!

Platina Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden


Again this year, I was traveling in June. This time I visited several great jewelers in Stockholm, Sweden, and I must thank Sofia Björkman from Platina gallery for introducing me to a variety of people there. It was fantastic. I also spent some time in Tallinn, Estonia, with Kadri Mälk, Tanel Veenre, and several of their students. Kadri, too, was kind enough to arrange visits with other jewelers, curators, and museum directors. I was very touched by everyone's enthusiasm for AJF and their generosity in spending time with me.


An advanced copy of the AJF book Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective is in my hands. Wow, it is a beauty! You will hear a lot more about it and the Speakers Tour we are organizing next month. In the meantime, stay cool in the summer heat, or if you live below the equator, I hope the winter is beautiful.




Susan Cummins

AJF Chair



Spread the Word Get the AJF logo & add it to your site.  

Friend us on Facebook 

Follow us on Twitter & Pinterest, too!
EXCLUSIVELY FOR YOU: American Crafts Council San Francisco Show


ACC SF 2013 AJF has arranged free passes to the American Crafts Council San Francisco Show (August 2 - 4) for the first 25 people who sign up. Please email us your request right away. It's first come first serve, and one ticket per request.


We have also organized a walkthrough of the best jewelry booths at the ACC fair. The tour will be at 1:00 pm on Saturday, August 3. Mike Holmes of Velvet da Vinci gallery and one of the founders of the AJF website will be leading the tour. He will pick a number of booths to visit and will conduct a conversation with each jeweler. This event will be followed by a no-host coffee at Greens. Bring a friend, and don't miss it. If you'd like to join us, send us an email by July 26, 2013 with "ACC Walkthrough" in the subject line.



Penland The Penland School of Crafts is holding its annual benefit auction on August 9 - 10, 2013. They are inviting anyone who would like to join them for a weekend of live and silent auctions, meals, music, dancing, an open house with Penland's resident artists, and a reception at the Penland Gallery.  


The auctions will feature jewelry by many prominent Americans, including Jamie Bennett, Angela Bubash, David Butler, Arline M. Fisch, Joanna Gollberg, Caroline Gore, Charity Hall, Douglas Harling, Julia Harrison, Arthur Hash, Hongsock Lee, Jeong Ju Lee, Sarah Loertscher, Mary Hallam Pearse, Ruta Reifen, Mary Ann Scherr, Jon Shearin, Amy Tavern, Marlene True, and Munya Avigail Upin.  


Can't make it to the auction? Penland also welcomes absentee bidders. Get in there and bid!



There is a new player on the jewelry auction scene called Piasa in Paris, and an auction called "Precious Design" took place there on June 18th. The results of their June 18th sale are now online. There is a lot there to see. Check it out.


AUC Falkenstein
Claire Falkenstein, Mobile Brooch, 1958, silver, photo: LAMA
Auction Results

LAMA Los Angeles Modern Auctions, May 19, 2013

Alexander Calder, Brooch, sold for $40,625

Harry Bertoia, Brooch, sold for $21,250

Harry Bertoia, Brooch, sold for $20,000

Bob Winston, Brooch, sold for $2375  

Ed Weiner, Brooch, did not sell  

Claire Falkenstein, Mobile Brooch, sold for $5,312


Rago Modern Design, June 9, 2013

Earl Pardon, Bracelet, did not sell

Tod Pardon, Brooch, did not sell

Carolyn Kriegman, Necklace, did not sell

Linda MacNeil, Necklace, did not sell


Wright Auction, June 6, 2013

Harry Bertoia, Brooch, sold for $22,500

Harry Bertoia, Brooch, sold for $10,625  

Beatriz Defeo


Beatriz Defeo was in charge of all the jewelry sales at Bergé between 2008 and 2012, and she just tested her mettle by organizing one for Piasa, in the tougher Parisian environment. This one-woman band is pretty much the only person who has tried to sell contemporary jewelry in auctions, and she tells us why it is looking promising.  


Benjamin Lignel: Do you make a distinction between artist jewelry and contemporary jewelry?


Beatriz Defeo: Of course I make the distinction. To some extent, I accept the common definition that artist jewelry is made (or at least designed) by people for whom it is not the main medium while contemporary jewelry is authored by people who only do this and do it from start to finish. However, my attitude toward those distinctions has changed. I am not sure anymore that separating one from the other--as I used to do in the Bergé catalogues--is really such a good idea. Dinie [Besems], Ted [Noten], and Gijs [Bakker] are all artists in my eye. Therefore, in the Piasa catalogue, I have consciously avoided putting them "in little boxes."


Ellen Reiben, Jewelers'Werk,
photo: Morgan Howarth


Jewelers'Werk Galerie is located in Washington, DC. In this interview, Ellen Reiben discusses how the gallery came to be and answers questions posed by Missy Graff.

Missy Graff: As the field grows and materials shift, do you see a change in the collector?

Ellen Reiben: I do see a change in the collector. The collectors I have worked with have gradually broadened their horizons and slowly come to appreciate pieces now they might have run from before! It is a matter of comfort, and gradually that comfort level evolves. The sophistication level of collectors has grown very fast in the last few years; more and more they are exposed to international work, which can be very challenging. 

Read more...  


This month, we feature the following galleries on the AJF website:
GF Mobilia
Mobilia Gallery
Linda MacNeil
June 8 - July 27, 2013
GF Marzee
Galerie Marzee
Willemijn de Greef
May 26 - August 3, 2013
GF Sienna
Sienna Gallery
Myra Mimlitsch-Gray
June 28 - July 16, 2013
GF Pont and Plas
Galerie Pont & Plas
Lahti Jewelry
June 5 - October 5, 2013
GF Lowe
Heidi Lowe Gallery
Jessica Stevens
July 1 - 21, 2013
Galerie Rob Koudijs
Helen Britton
June 29 - August 10, 2013



  BLOG Tweex 1 BLOG Kaufman and Fitxgerald BLOG Quebec BLOG Hardware Artware BLOG Bosshard BLOG Marin

On the home page of our website, there is a changing list of the interesting, strange, and wonderful ways that contemporary jewelry is hitting the headlines. Find out what has been attracting our curiosity at AJF Recommends...