IdioSINcratic

Facere Jewelry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington

Jessica CalderwoodThe last time we caught up with Facere was in April for the Feast of Beads show curated by Gail Brown. We heard how Karen Lorene got started in the gallery business 40 years ago and about a book she wrote about the process. This time around, I wanted to learn a bit more about Facere’s interest in contemporary and antique jewelry and how these might fit together in their space as well as to find out more about their current show called IdioSINcratic.

Susan Cummins: I understand that you feature antique and contemporary jewelry in your gallery and have an interest in both. Do you ever organize exhibitions that combine the antique and contemporary jewelry? If so please describe one.

Karen Lorene: We always have antique jewelry on display and jewelry art on display. We have found there is cross over interest because the customer who likes unique jewelry (one-of-a kind, particularly) likes both the uniqueness of antique pieces as well as the strength and uniqueness of contemporary jewelry art.

I understand that you are also an appraiser and I know you wrote an article about getting contemporary art jewelry appraised for the AJF website. How did you become one and what kind of appraising are you often asked to do?

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Cynthia Toops
David Chatt
Gary Schott
Jessica Calderwood
Kim Eric Lilot
Roberta & David Williamson

Mari Shaw

Collector's Choice

Mari Shaw I recently saw Mari Shaw at the Basel art and design extravaganza. I asked her to contribute to the Collector’s Choice series and she not only answered the question of her favorite piece but also lamented about the one she missed getting. Mari is a collector with an interest in contemporary art and jewelry and lives in Philadelphia and Berlin. 

My Favorite

Either I am very fickle or very full-hearted, because whatever piece of jewelry I am wearing is my favorite. However fascinated I am by a piece lying in a beautiful case, my experience of the displayed jewelry does not compare with the magic of the one surrounding my neck, attached to my chest, circling my finger, or piercing my ear. Each wearing, enriched by the memory of other places the piece and I traveled together and the occasions we jointly commemorated, enhances the pleasure.

Still, there is the passion of the very first time. Mine was occasioned by a necklace composed of hundreds of tiny silver pieces that Tone Vigeland hand-rolled into oval sculptures and wove into an elongated neckpiece. How distinctly I remember the necklace dipping to points in the front and back, as I laid the body-hugging metal across my shoulders. Looking in the mirror, I saw the variously refracted rays of light illuminate the surface of the fantastic metal stole into different and changing patterns and hues, reminiscent of the color and texture variations in fur and every bit as luxurious. The piece is heavy, not unbearably heavy, but heavy enough that I was aware of its presence, an armor against evil forces. When I wore it then – and every time I have worn it since – I move with deliberation and confidence.  

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Mari Shaw
Tone Vigeland

New Work: Renee Bevan

The National, Christchurch, New Zealand

Renee Bevan Last September AJF published a profile on The National in Christchurch, New Zealand, in our newsletter.  I won’t say too much, since you can read the excellent interview, except that the 2011 earthquake in New Zealand destroyed the gallery. Caroline Billing who owns and runs The National has recovered and is still going. She is remarkable and I wanted to see how she was doing. During June she featured New Work: Renee Bevan, who has some very complex and thoughtful things to say about her jewelry. See what you think.

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Renee Bevan
Renee Bevan
Renee Bevan
Renee Bevan
Renee Bevan
Renee Bevan
Renee Bevan

Geologica: Brigid O'Hanrahan

Shibumi Gallery, Berkeley, CA

April Higashi April Higashi is a jeweler who opened a lovely intimate gallery called Shibumi in Berkeley, California, a number of years ago. I know her to be industrious and thoughtful, which is reflected in the work she does as well in how she has structured her life and her gallery. She is lots of fun, a woman of many talents and has a good time making things work in her life. At the moment she is having a show called Geologica by Brigid O’Hanrahan, who works in both porcelain and metal and often combines the two in her jewelry. Her sensitive rings and brooches give you a hint of her shy nature.

Susan Cummins: I know we have worked together in the past, but please refresh my memory about how you got to be the owner of a jewelry gallery.

April Higashi: I’ve been making jewelry for twenty years. Even in the beginning when I was first starting to make jewelry, I always thought about how it would be shown, grouped together or how it could be worn. When I worked at your gallery (Susan Cummins Gallery, Mill Valley, California) you instilled in me the importance of thought, idea and craftsmanship in each piece. While there, I realized how much I enjoyed aesthetically arranging and grouping the work. I also realized during that time how much I liked working directly with clients. So I knew I would enjoy curating a gallery. When my husband and I were looking to buy a house we found a building that was zoned for partial commercial use. The space was large enough to have both a workshop/studio and a gallery on the bottom floor. With this set up I felt I could continue to be a jewelry maker as well as take on a new role as curator and gallery owner. Originally I was thinking I would only do the gallery part-time. The reality, however, is that I have ended up creating two full-time jobs for myself. Fortunately I am a good delegator and so I have also ‘curated’ an amazing creative team to help me.

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Brigid O'Hanrahan
Brigid O'Hanrahan
Brigid O'Hanrahan
Brigid O'Hanrahan
Geologica Show: Brigid O'Hanrahan
April Higashi
Brigid O'Hanrahan

Lisette Colijn-(Take a) Look at Me

Galerie Louise Smit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Galerie Louise Smit Amsterdam must have more jewelry galleries per capita than any other place on earth and some of them, like Galerie Louise Smit,  have been around for more than 25 years. This gallery helped to create an audience for contemporary jewelry both locally and internationally. Luckily for us, Monika Zampa has kept the gallery alive as Louise Smit retired. Best wishes to Louise and Robert Smit and may you enjoy the less frantic pace of your retired lives. In the meantime I wanted to know more about what Monika was planning.

Lisette ColiijnSusan Cummins: You are a fairly new owner of a very old gallery. Can you tell us about how the transition took place between you and Louise Smit?

Monika Zampa: In the past I used to work in London as an investment banker, project manager and a deputy director for medium size company. Then I moved to Amsterdam, changed my life and started to study conceptual jewelry at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. In my last years of the studies, I realized that my combination of financial/organizational skills and passion for conceptual jewelry was rather unique. I thought that it could be perfectly applied in running the gallery. I approached Louise and offered my skills and knowledge if she would consider having a business partner. We started to talk, got to know each other and had lots of good times. Our cooperation began in September 2010 with the idea that I would be able to run the gallery on my own by 2011.

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Lisette Colijn
Lisette Colijn
Lisette Colijn
Lisette Colijn
Lisette Colijn
Lisette Colijn
Lisette Colijn and Monika Zampa
Galerie Louise Smit

Under That Cloud

Klimt 02

Benjamin Lignel Klimt02 is most famous in the jewelry community as a website where the full breath of the field is displayed. It is a fabulous resource, but it is also a gallery in Barcelona, Spain, started by Leo Caballero and Amador Bertomeu. With a hard working crew of only four people they have managed to give us a huge amount of information. For the 1% of you who haven’t looked at this site yet – get with it! In the meantime, the rest of you can read about the physical space started by Leo and Amador and their recent show called Under That Cloud, curated by Jo Bloxham. A catalog for the show can be ordered from the Klimt02 site.

Susan Cummins: You are famous for your informative website, Klimt02.net. Please tell me the story of how and why you started it.

Leo Caballero: I learned about this kind of jewelry in the 1990s by visiting a very good gallery in Barcelona called Positvra, which closed many years ago. They showed work from German artists and people like Annelies Planteijdt. Ever since then I have been attracted by the creative level of the artists and have always felt that this kind of jewelry represented my time and represented me as a late twentieth century citizen. It was in 2002 that I decided to show contemporary jewelry online. Together with my colleague Amador Bertomeu, we started Klimt02. We thought we should to put together as much quality information as we could find and share it. It is hard to believe but in 2002 it was difficult to find information. In ten years the situation has changed radically.

What is your background?

Leo Caballero: My background is in industrial design and ancient painting restoration. I also did some sculpture. It was during my studies in industrial design that I connected with jewelry. I have always related to the fine arts and many of my friends are designers, painters, and photographers . . .

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Leo Caballero and Amador Bertomeu
Benjamin Lignel
Ramon Puig Cuyas
Agnieszka Knap
Nanna Melland

Nature/ Artificial curated by Luzia Vogt

Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h, Montreal, Canada

Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h in Montreal, Canada, is featuring Nature/Artificial, a show curated by the jeweler Luzia Vogt which investigates the relationship between the two and questions human intervention. It’s a heady theme and I asked Noel and Luzia a few questions to clarify.

Susan Cummins: Noel, in the May AJF newsletter you talked about your recent move to a larger space. Congratulations! You have been in the business for sixteen years and I am wondering if you can tell me how the contemporary jewelry field has changed during that time.

Noel Guymarc’h: From the beginning, my goal was to promote Canadian contemporary jewelry with temporary international exhibitions. Unfortunately, there were not so many Canadian artists. I decided to invite international artists for permanent representation. But in the past ten years, as I mentioned in the newsletter, there has been a change and I really feel confident about the new generation. At the same time, running a gallery is not always easy. Education, passion, awareness and persistence are the reasons of the gallery’s presence. And to be in business for sixteen years gives credibility, too, without compromises in the selection of work.

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Beppe Kessler
Ela Bauer
Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h
Noel Guyomarc'h
Beth Legg
Francis Willemstijn
Luzia Vogt
Silvia Weidenbach

Maris Sustins: Sphere

Putti Art Gallery, Riga, Latvia

Agita Putane  and Maris Sustins AJF is searching the world for galleries, museums, curators, makers and collectors who are passionate or even just interested in art jewelry and want to join our community. In the process we found Putti Art Gallery in Riga, Latvia and asked the owner Agita Putane to answer a few questions about her gallery and her current show with artist Maris Sustins, a Latvian jeweler. Welcome Putti!

Susan Cummins: Congratulations on being AJF’s first Latvian gallery.

Agita Putane: I am excited and happy about it. This is the best birthday present for our gallery. I would like to thank you for this fantastic opportunity. This is a great chance to tell the world that Latvian jewelry designers are highly professional artists and that Riga is home to a fantastic art gallery, PUTTI.

First of all I have to ask why your gallery is called Putti? I know that in renaissance art the ‘putti’ is a little pudgy winged baby. How does that image work for you?

This story dates back to the times when the gallery was located in another place in Old Riga. Its brick wall had been preserved since the seventeenth century. During that period, baroque dominated in art and in architecture. The figure of the angel was used in paintings and in arches. The figure of angel – ‘putto’ – in Italian means ‘a guardian angel.’ ‘PUTTI’ in Italian means ‘guardian angels’ (plural). They are protecting us and we feel it all the time. For our logo we used a font from the baroque period.

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Putti Gallery
Maris Sustins
Maris Sustins
Agita Putane  and Maris Sustins
Maris Sustins
Maris Sustins
Maris Sustins

Lola Brooks: charted territories

Sienna Gallery, Lenox MA

Lola Brooks Sienna Gallery located in Lenox, Massachusetts, is owned and run by Sienna Patti, a youngish and ambitious dealer. She grew up in a family atmosphere filled with the ethos of the American craft community and started her business while still in her teens. Sienna is a member of the AJF board and an active member of the international jewelry community. She featured Lola Brooks that the SOFA New York 2012 fair. The show, called charted territories, was installed using furniture and objects taken directly from Lola’s personal holdings. The display added a lot of information about the pieces and about Lola herself, who kindly agreed to answer my questions.

 

Susan Cummins: Where did you study? Did you have a mentor there?

Lola Brooks: I studied with Myra MImlitsch-Gray and James Bennett at SUNY New Paltz, where I got my BFA. It was inspiring to work with two professors who were as engaged in their pedagogical pursuits as they were in their careers as prolific artists. They were both incredibly influential in shaping me into the artist I am today, sometimes similarly and sometimes in very different ways. I was so fortunate to get to work with James as his assistant for a number of years, cutting my teeth on his gold and learning the finer points of composition among a million other things. We had an incredible working relationship. His material irreverence left its fingerprints all over me and my work, manifesting itself in my flagrant disregard for – and obsession with – conventional notions of preciousness and craftsmanship.

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Lola Brooks
Lola Brooks
Lola Brooks
Lola Brooks
Lola Brooks
Lola Brooks
Lola Brooks

Susan Beech

Collector's Choice

Susan Beech Susan Beech from Tiburon, California, wears jewelry with elegance and finesse. She is a passionate collector of art jewelry and a good friend. Early on in her quest for pieces to add to her collection she stopped into my gallery in Mill Valley, California and started buying things. Since then she has explored many parts of the world looking for things that make her heart go pitter pat. For a complete interview with her see the Collecting section of our site. In the meantime you can read about her Collector’s Choice.    

 

Over the years I have collected paintings, art deco everything, photographs, sculpture and ceramics. I didn’t intend to collect jewelry until I saw some original studio jewelry, pieces very different than what my friends were wearing. As I became more educated about the field, I gravitated toward more challenging work, unconventional jewelry materials and subject matter. Soon I realized I was a collector of contemporary jewelry. It is not possible to wear a painting or sculpture, but I do wear jewelry from my collection every day, even some of the more demanding pieces. Some might say I wear too many pieces at the same time but it speaks to my passion.

I have a great respect for the jewelry artists and it has been honor to meet and talk to so many of them about their ideas. When I wear a piece from my collection, I feel I am promoting their work in particular and contemporary jewelry in general by taking it our in the world, sharing my passion and encouraging people to ask questions.

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Susan Beech
Terhi Tolvanen
Terhi Tolvanen
Terhi Tolvanen

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