Ernestine Mills, Angel of Hope Pendant, 1909, enamel on silver shield, semiprecious stones, height 35 mm, courtesy of V. Irene Cockroft / Museum of London, photo: David Cockroft Morris died in 1896, concerned that the joy in craftsmanship he advocated had culminated in no more than “ministering to the swinish luxury of the rich.” Women …
Month: December 2014
Rebecca Myers has been designing and fabricating custom jewelry for more than 20 years. Drawn to the sculptural, engineering, and problem-solving aspects of making, she is inspired by nature and its curiosities: her garden, the allure of the natural world, and the dichotomy that is captured in nature—the rough and the smooth, the dark and the light. Her designs are delicate and feminine, but with an edgy and organic quality. Rebecca is the featured artist for December at Gravers Lane Gallery in Philadelphia; on the eve of that exhibition, Bonnie Levine spent some time chatting with Rebecca about her work, inspirations, success, and longevity in the jewelry world.
Bonnie Levine: How did you get started as a jeweler, and when did you realize you were hooked?
Rebecca Myers: I had to fulfill a craft requirement when I was a sophomore at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. While I was actually making something, the other kids in my class were melting things and setting their clothing on fire. I realized that I was actually pretty good at it. It initially was the path of least resistance. I then got hooked on figuring out how to design things that were desirable and wearable. Once I started down the path of putting an actual line together, the process got really exciting for me. I sold the small line I made my senior year to a gallery in New Hope, Pennsylvania. That $500 may as well have been $5,000. I was elated!
The hardest thing about building a successful jewelry line wasn’t acquiring or applying the skills, but figuring out how to make something that got people excited enough that they wanted to buy it, while still fulfilling my own aesthetic requirements. I wasn’t drawn to commercial jewelry, but was partially trained in that world. I worked for a jeweler in Milwaukee for five years or so. The skills I acquired working in that world have been a key to making the kind of work that appeals to the public. My work is the result of those skills, accompanied with an interest in fine art, fashion, and an art school education.
On May 15, the Jewellery Department of the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam hosted a one-day AJF event. Monica Gaspar and Suska Mackert were invited to give lectures. Afterward, both guests joined forces with the students in a collective brainstorm. The initial question, “What is the attitude that lies at the base of jewelry?” functioned as …
The show of work by Andrea Wagner at Platina gave me an opportunity to catch up with the artist. I first met her in Amsterdam when she and several other jewelers were working together in a loft studio. At the time, the idea of the garden and its relationship to architecture was of interest to them. I remember realizing that people in the small country of the Netherlands need to think about land and building in a very deliberate way. There simply isn’t room to take it for granted.
Susan Cummins: Are you still thinking of this Jardin Intérieur in the same way now as you did then, or have your ideas developed? How?
Andrea Wagner: The first time we met, I was in a rough period following a couple of life upheavals. My prolonged living circumstances in what was originally intended as a temporary solution turned my craving for privacy and my own space into a real obsession that started infecting my work. A micro series from that time was even called Arcadian Flights! Another small body of work leaned on the idea of floral friezes on buildings, with the resulting pieces looking like flowers turned into shelters.
Sydney Lynch is a hard-working, self-supporting jeweler. In this interview she describes how she makes a living by creating jewelry, and what inspires her. Her show at Aaron Faber Gallery in New York City includes a huge selection of her work. Read about how she does it.
Susan Cummins: This show at Aaron Faber gallery includes 125 pieces. Is it a kind of retrospective? Are you showing sketches and photographs along with the jewelry? Can you describe the installation?
Sydney Lynch: The Aaron Faber show is more of a cross-section of my current work, rather than a retrospective. I have always created both a production line and one-of-a-kind designs, so there is a range from both bodies of work. The shell and coral pieces, which I made for the Aaron Faber 40th Anniversary show, are also on display. That small series was an opportunity for me to have fun designing and making pieces that were personal to me, incorporating finds from beachcombing in Mexico.
You mention on your website that while you were in college you worked on a Navajo reservation and that it was there you were inspired to make your own jewelry. Can you tell us this story?
Sydney Lynch: When I was 19, a sophomore in college, I spent six weeks as a teacher’s aide on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. It was a transformative experience on all levels. I grew up in Connecticut, and had never experienced the Western landscape. The powerful geography of the open desert, rocks, and canyons was thrilling, and I decided then and there to move out west, and have never lived on the East Coast again. It was also an opportunity for learning about native culture.
Attendees fill the Washington State History Museum auditorium, photo: Lindsey Snell The SMG aims to assemble an annual event with diverse programming to support the metals community across the Northwest. The Protective Ornament curator and current Metalsmith editor, Suzanne Ramljak, was the welcome keynote to this year’s lecture series. Ramljak’s opening presentation, All Is Fair …
Seulgi Kwon, Deep in the Night 1, 2014, brooch, silicone, pigment, thread, glass, 180 x 170 x 60 cm, photo: artist Seulgi Kwon, The Evolution of Defense 1 (worn), 2014, silicone, pigment, thread, paper, plastic, 180 x 105 x 70 mm, photo: artist The goal of the AJF Artist Award is to acknowledge promise, innovation, …
Lauren Kalman: Coveted Objects September 13–October 19, 2014 Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, USA In Lauren Kalman’s works there is little restraint, unless of course we are talking about actual physical restraining devices. The works on show in her new exhibition, Coveted Objects, continue in the artist’s tradition of making beautiful objects and well-composed …
Instinct is an apt title for Eric Silva’s show at Gallery Lulo. As a self-educated artist, Eric uses his natural impulses to work with interesting materials to make his jewelry. The results are varied and original. There isn’t too much material written about him, so I was very grateful that he was interested in answering a few questions.
Susan Cummins: The name Silva has Portuguese origins. Is that your background? Can you describe where you grew up and a little about your family history?
Eric Silva: No, I am Mexican. I am third generation born in California. I grew up in Norwalk, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. I was raised by a single mother and I have one younger brother. I came from a family of carpenters.
When did you know you wanted to be a jeweler?
Eric Silva: Being a jeweler isnʼt something that I planned to be or do. What I was most interested in was carving small objects. Because of the scale that I enjoyed working in, it seemed most appropriate to turn them into wearable items.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AJF 2015 limited edition pin by emiko oye, photo: artist Mill Valley, California, USA—Art Jewelry Forum (AJF), a global nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the creation, study, and appreciation of art jewelry, is pleased to announce that it has commissioned American jeweler emiko oye to create a limited-edition pin for the organization. …
Sara Visbeek, the author’s partner, wearing the python for the first time, Galerie Rob Koudijs, February 5, 2012, photo: Miecke Oosterman At first glance, this python doesn’t look like a piece of jewelry at all. It is one big object, or rather, it’s a full-grown, life-size snake, dozing in a corner of the room. But …