January 2014

Antonella Villanova

Portrait of Antonella Villanova, photo: Hugh Findletar Kellie Riggs: When did your interest in contemporary jewelry begin, and how did that transform into a desire to open a gallery?  Antonella Villanova: The interest in contemporary jewelry was born about 10 years ago, at first with jewelry made by visuals artists, but I wasn’t satisfied. After, […]

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Katja Prins: Hybrids

Katja PrinsKatja Prins has expanded her views of the relationship of humans to technology in her new show with Galerie Rob Koudijs. Her new jewelry continues to research the way the two interact in the modern world. It is something no one today can deny confronting. These beautiful, clean, and provocative pieces are very suggestive and thought provoking. 

Susan Cummins: Can you tell the story of how you discovered that you wanted to be a jeweler?

Katja Prins: I think that the need to express oneself by creating things and using visual language is something that doesn’t come like a discovery or epiphany. It’s something that is just part of you, and it simply needs to have the opportunity to develop. I’ve always been interested in all kinds of art and have always liked to make things, so I just followed my heart. 

As soon as I started my technical education as a goldsmith at Schoonhoven, it was clear to me that there was more. I wasn’t too interested in traditional jewelry, and so right away, I focused on going to the art academy. There wasn’t much about jewelry there, but much more about expressing yourself, developing a visual language, and telling an interesting story. It made me an artist whose medium happens to be jewelry.


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Beppe Kessler: Whispering Pieces

Beppe KesslerDutch jeweler Beppe Kessler took some time out of her visit to Thailand to answer questions for AJF about her work, and specifically about the work in the current show at ATTA Gallery in Bangkok, Thailand. She expresses what a lot of jewelers think about making work with her hands more than her head, and how that translates to her jewelry and painting.

Currently, Thailand is experiencing protests against the government, and I asked Atty Tantivit, the owner of ATTA about it. This is a contrast to this interview, but I thought it was important to note Atty’s response.

“Though corruption is known in Thailand, this is the first time that the people have taken it to centerstage and marched against it, including the corrupted government. The situation is mostly peaceful. There have been some incidents of violence against the protesters by “unknown” attackers, and so far there are about 10 casualties. The protesters occupied the central part of Bangkok. Unless they march the streets asking for support along various roads in Bangkok, we at ATTA Gallery do not feel any disruption.

Pray for us. We need your understanding and support. We are fun- loving, peaceful people. But, when there’s a need for us to fight for what is right, we will not stop short of it. I continue to open the gallery as I think that I owe it to the artists to present their work to the best of my ability. I also think that, at time like this, we could use art to heal our souls. What we have at ATTA Gallery could give people a bit of an uplifted feeling during this tough time.” Atty Tantivit

Our best wishes go with you Atty.


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Lisa Walker: Necklace

The contemporary jewelry scene sometimes acts like it doesn’t matter where you come from. The nationality of makers—and viewers—is acknowledged and then denied, an accident of birth but not something that needs to be factored into the interpretation of the work.  So, what happens if you try and locate Lisa Walker as a New Zealand

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Veleta Vancza: MINE Luxury Nail Lacquer

Veleta Vancza has developed a new approach to adorning the body with precious metals. MINE, her line of luxury nail lacquer, was recently presented at the Heidi Lowe Gallery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. In this interview, Veleta explains her concept and its connection to jewelry. 

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Missy Graff: Please tell me about your background. How did you come to be a jeweler? 

Veleta Vancza: I took my first jewelry class at Emily Gray Junior High School in Tucson, Arizona, in the early 80s. While in high school, I had the opportunity to study with Billy King in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. We worked from a tiny studio with an outhouse, soldered in the dark, and alloyed coin silver into sterling silver. We made our own sheet, wire, and tubing before even starting the jewelry. I was mesmerized by the plethora of ways one could transform metal. 


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Shift October 18–November 21, 2013 Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA Exhibition overview, Shift, 2013, Grunwald Gallery, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, photo: Michelle Given Within the American Midwest, it is a rare opportunity to come across exhibitions of contemporary jewelry or galleries with an art-jewelry focus. It is neither Germany nor the Netherlands, and with the

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Since 2005, AJF has been funding catalogs and exhibitions as part of its aim to advocate for contemporary art jewelry through education, appreciation, and support for the field. AJF believes that exhibitions and catalogs are an essential part of the contemporary art jewelry infrastructure, by documenting history, fostering curatorial skills, providing opportunities for writing about contemporary art

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Christine Matthias

Christine MatthiasChristine Matthias, a graduate from Burg Giebichenstein in Halle, has shown at Galerie Marzee for a number of years and is exhibiting there now. Her new work is similar to the past but with patterns of stonework on the minimal forms. The work is strong and reflects the place it comes from, which Christine describes as a “straight and honest” place. 

Susan Cummins: Christine, please tell the story of your background and how you knew you wanted to make jewelry.

Christine Matthias: It was only after completing a commercial apprenticeship and studying interior design in Hanover that I took up my studies at Burg Giebichenstein´s jewelry department. During my studies in Hanover, I got interested in jewelry making and started to learn some of the necessary skills. I spent a semester at the Politecnico in Milan and finally completed my interior design studies with a diploma, but I already knew that I would do something different. I wasn’t interested in furnishing medical offices or fair stalls.

I drew a lot during that period, and so that was my preparation for studying in Halle. I didn’t want to just design things. I wanted to be involved in making them. For me, making jewelry combines the artistic process with a very precise and concentrated sort of work. I enjoy being independent in what I do, and I find it important that everything is in my hands from the first idea to the finished piece.


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Christine Matthias

Christine Matthias portrait Susan Cummins: Christine, please tell the story of your background and how you knew you wanted to make jewelry. Christine Matthias: It was only after completing a commercial apprenticeship and studying interior design in Hanover that I took up my studies at Burg Giebichenstein´s jewelry department. During my studies in Hanover, I

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Keri-Mei Zagrobelna: Kohatu

Keri-Mei ZagrobelnaWe have added a new gallery to our community from Wellington, New Zealand. Quoil Gallery, opened by Belinda Hager in 1997, shows only New Zealand jewelers. Phillipa Gee took over the management and ownership in 2007, and today the gallery represents about 37 jewelers from all levels of achievement. The recent show Kohatu by Keri-Mei Zagrobelna reveals the connections this artist has with her Maori background.

Susan Cummins: How did you discover you wanted to make jewelry?

Keri-Mei Zagrobelna: I am not sure if I discovered that I wanted to be a jeweler, or if jewelry discovered me. Growing up in an environment of artifact, object, and art, it seemed normal that I should naturally fall into it. I spent a while in my youth travelling throughout New Zealand and dabbling in art and craft, but I avoided taking it seriously due to a lack of confidence and courage. It wasn’t until my mother passed away that I had the epiphany that I had to go to art school and make it happen and that life was too short to have regrets or avoid things. It was also a creative outlet for my emotions at the time. Jewelry was my silent ambassador. It was always there for me and taught me new things. Then, I started to see potential in myself and the others around me. I could use the language of jewelry to relate to others, and not only did it help me, but I could use it to help heal others.


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