February 2013

Pascale Gallien

In May 2011, I spent a week in Paris, getting to know a bit more about the French contemporary jewelry scene. Through the kind assistance of French jeweler, writer, and AJF editor Benjamin Lignel, I had the opportunity to meet and interview French collectors and curators for the AJF website. Pascale Gallien is a lawyer

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Jardins d’Hiver

Karen Gay, Sea Flowers, 2012, ring, yellow gold, keshi pearls (9 mm), diamonds or tsavorite garnets, photo: Elsa Vanier Susan Cummins: How did you come up with the idea of Jardins d’Hiver, or “Winter Gardens,” as the theme for a show? Elsa Vanier: We were coming out of a Niessing exhibition, and we needed some

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Badges & Buttons, Waistcoats & Vests: Curated by Robert Ebendorf (USA) and Elizabeth Turrell (UK)

Jane Harrison, Coon, 2012, badge, found metal Susan Cummins: How did the idea of Badges & Buttons, Waistcoats & Vests come about? Was it a personal interest? Elizabeth Turrell: Yes, it is a personal interest. The exhibition title—Badges & Buttons, Waistcoats & Vests—alludes to the fact that we think we have a language in common,

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Tributaries: Lola Brooks

Lola Brooks The National Ornamental Metal Museum is dedicated to the exhibition, collection, conservation, restoration, education, and research of metalwork. It is the only American institution that devotes itself entirely to this cause. They have started an exhibition series called Tributaries, which refers to the Mississippi River running next to the museum and indicates a meandering retrospective of an artist’s work. For the past few months, the museum has featured the work of Lola Brooks. Lola is a maker of traditionally inspired jewelry wrapped in untraditional garb. (Her recent interview on this blog is worth a second look.) As always, Lola is a pleasure to read and an all around smart contributor to the thoughtful pursuit of making jewelry.

Susan Cummins: Lola, congratulations on being chosen to design the AJF pin for 2013. This is only the third year we have commissioned a pin for our supporters, so you are among a very elite group that includes Arthur Hash and Ted Noten. Not too long ago, we had a pretty great interview for your show at Sienna Gallery, and you answered my questions then with humor, thoughtfulness, and intelligence. We covered a lot of territory at that time, so it may be challenging to come up with new questions. Let’s start with this—Where are living now, and what you are doing?

Lola Brooks: Thank you Susan. It was such an honor to be chosen to design the brooch for AJF this year, and it has been quite an adventure seeing it through. I cannot wait to pin one on my person!

Let see now … where am I living, and what am I doing? I have to agree that this is a great place to start. It has been a year of tumultuous upheaval and transformation for me in every possible way. After almost a quarter-century in New York City, the place I have long considered my heart and soul, I tore up my roots and moved to rural Georgia, about 18 miles (29 km) outside of Athens. Although the move happened fast and seemingly came out of left field, it was not completely capricious.

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Lucy Sarneel: Soulmates

Lucy Sarneel Dutch artist Lucy Sarneel is presenting new work in the exhibition Soulmates at Galerie Marzee in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, through February. Sarneel continues to reinvent her work while still keeping her signature use of zinc forms. This jewelry is fresh and colorful with a liveliness often missing from well-established artists’ work. She seems still open to experimentation and new ideas. Nice job.

Susan Cummins: Lucy, I understand that you studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, that you taught there for many years, and now you are about to become the head of the department. Congratulations. Many incredible jewelers have come from that school. Can you tell me what is the secret to their success?

Lucy Sarneel: I have taught in the jewelry department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie for almost four years with some short periods of guest teaching previously, so it’s not that many years by my count. The secret to the school’s success could be attributed to the emphasis on the working process rather than working toward the result. Developing ideas as a constant dialogue between the idea and the material. The attempts and the failures. The doing and reflecting. Thinking in possibilities and not in solutions. This way of working opens personal potential and ways of looking, thinking, and making that the student learns to rely on, making him or her an independent artist.

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