Lynn Kelly: Central

Fingers Contemporary New Zealand Jewellery, Auckland, New Zealand

Lynn Kelly Jewelry has been filled with plant forms from the beginning of its history, and these forms continue to intrigue jewelers from all parts of the world. Fingers Contemporary New Zealand Jewellery was founded in 1974 by a group of jewelers in Auckland. This month, the gallery is featuring a jeweler intrigued with plant forms. In fact, she has a horticultural degree. Lynn Kelly is absorbed more deeply than most by the use of plant forms as inspiration for her work.

Susan Cummins: Can you give us the story of how you became a jeweler? Please include your geographical locations, schools, etc.

Lynn Kelly: My parents emigrated from Northern Ireland. I found myself very interested in jewelry while travelling to Britain in the early 1980s to meet my wider family. I cannot pin down any particular person or event that started my desire to make. Once I returned to New Zealand and attempted to get metal training, I realized that I was too old for an apprenticeship, and at that time there was no other formal method of training in New Zealand.

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Lynn Kelly
Lynn Kelly
Lynn Kelly
Lynn Kelly
Lynn Kelly
Lynn Kelly

Julie Blyfield: Second Nature

Gallery Funaki, Melbourne, Australia

Julie Blyfield Julie Blyfield is intrigued with plant forms as many jewelers have been over the millennium. She is looking at Australian plants, and this gives her an edge on unusual shapes and patterns. Second Nature, her show at Gallery Funaki, is a very concise look at how plant patterns translate into silver.

Susan Cummins: Can you give us the story of how you became a jeweler?

Julie Blyfield: My passion for jewelry and metal began in 1976. I was training to be a secondary school art teacher at Torrens College of Advanced Education at Underdale, west of Adelaide, in South Australia. (Now it is the University of South Australia, City West.) Carole-Ann Fooks was my jewelry lecturer. She introduced me to working with metal combined with mixed materials, such as bone, shell, and casting.

For many years, I taught jewelry making in secondary schools while making my own pieces at home in my spare time. I lived in regional South Australia when I first started teaching, so I had plenty of spare time to pursue my interest and passion.

Next, I returned to live in Adelaide and went back to night classes at Adelaide College of the Arts and Education to learn a few more skills, including enameling, chasing, and repoussé. In 1985, I enrolled in an associate diploma in jewelry making and joined Gray Street Workshop, a jewelry collective in Adelaide. I began as an access tenant, and then became a partner in the workshop that lasted 23 years.

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Julie Blyfield
Julie Blyfield
Julie Blyfield
Julie Blyfield
Julie Blyfield
Julie Blyfield

Hanna Hedman: Black Bile

Platina, Stockholm, Sweden

Hanna Hedman Platina, Sofia Bjorkman’s gallery in Stockholm, Sweden, has a fascinating program featuring mostly young and thoughtful artists. This month, Hanna Hedman is showing a collection of her work in a mournful exhibition called Black Bile.

Susan Cummins: Can you tell me about your background and how you decided to become a jeweler?

Hanna Hedman: I have always been creative. As a young child, I loved making objects and drawings. My family always encouraged my creativity,  even though they were not artists themselves. I started to dabble in jewelry by breaking my mother’s necklaces and reassembling them into what I believed were better versions. I was also a professional skier at a very young age, and skiing was a major part of my life for a long time. But, I always felt the need to express myself more with my hands. I made my first piece of jewelry while attending the University of Colorado on a skiing scholarship from 1999 to 2001. My work wasn’t very artistic at the start. I was drawn to the many possibilities of shaping metal. This is something that still intrigues me very much. My art life eventually superseded my sports life, and I haven’t stopped making since then. I work with jewelry for many reasons, but one is to explore jewelry’s direct relationship with the body.

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Hanna Hedman
Hanna Hedman
Hanna Hedman
Hanna Hedman
Hanna Hedman
Hanna Hedman
Hanna Hedman

Put a Ring on It

Taboo Studio, San Diego, California

Kristin Lora Jane Groover and Joanna Rhoades own the Taboo Studio in San Diego, California. This month, their gallery is presenting a ring show featuring artists Brooke Battles, Steven Brixner, Jim Cotter, Christine Simpson Forni, Diana Hall, Barbara Heinrich, April Higashi, Deanna Jacobsen, Dahlia Kanner, Ananda Khalsa, Janis Kerman, Christy Klug, Kristin Lora, Sydney Lynch, Ayesha Mayadas, Victoria Moore, Rebecca Myers, Brigid O’Hanrahan, Christina Y. Smith, Julia V. Turner, Myung Urso, Donna Veverka, and Jeff and Susan Wise. Jane Groover kindly answered my questions about the show.

Susan Cummins: Can you talk about the title of the show and why you chose the idea of a ring exhibition?

Jane Groover: A lot of our business involves clients who are getting married, and having an assortment of wedding and engagement rings is crucial to satisfying that demand. We wanted to host an exhibition that would not only expose our marrying clients to the exciting variety of traditional wedding rings but also entice our non-marrying clients to dress up their digits. My assistant chose the title Put a Ring on It from the lyrics of Beyonce Knowles’s hit song Single Ladies. The show’s title invites the buyer to consider the ring in all its manifestations as a personal form of adornment and expression.

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Jim Cotter
Donna Veverka
Kristin Lora
Janis Kerman
Christy Klug
Steven Brixner

Maya Kini: Silk

Shibumi Gallery, Berkeley, California

Maya Kini Jeweler April Higashi runs Shibumi Gallery in Berkeley, California. She shows mainly local jewelers and American jewelers who make well-designed, wearable work. Her gallery is located in a retail/manufacturing area, and her living quarters are right above the gallery. It is a wonderful space. April has discovered a lovely maker named Maya Kini, who is having her first full-scale solo show, Silk, at the gallery. Maya brings a complex background to her work.

Susan Cummins: Maya, can you tell me about your background? Your place of origin? Your schooling? How you became a jeweler?

Maya Kini: I was born and raised in the Boston area, the fourth of five children by parents from vastly different worlds. My mother is Italian American from New England, and my father emigrated from India in 1957 to get his PhD. He decided to stay in the US after meeting my mother. From a young age, I was given jewelry by visiting Indian relatives—bangles, anklets, and fine gold chains. Adornment begins at a young age in India and evolves into a complex language of beauty, wealth, and status.

I studied sculpture and literature at Reed College and eventually wrote my thesis on the translation of Catholicism and its earliest dispersion into New Spain. I received my degree in Spanish literature in 2000. In 1996, I was introduced to jewelry making in Mexico, and that seed developed into further study, apprenticeships with other jewelers, and eventually an MFA in metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art. I received my degree in 2007 under the guidance of Gary Griffin (2005–2006) and Iris Eichenberg (2006–2007). Currently, I operate my own small studio that focuses on commissions, multiples, and one-of-a-kind pieces.

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Maya Kini
Maya Kini
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Maya Kini
Maya Kini
Maya Kini
Maya Kini

Au Courant: A Contemporary Earring Exhibition

J. Cotter Gallery, Vail, Colorado, USA

Katie Poterala Jim Cotter is a jeweler and the owner of J. Cotter Gallery with two locations in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado. He exhibits his work in his own galleries as well as others around the country. J. Cotter Gallery also features the work of other jewelers. Vail is a famous ski resort and a community that relies on the support of its seasonal visitors. Theresa Hauser, the gallery director, has chosen nine artists for a show of earrings called Au Courant: A Contemporary Earring Exhibition. The featured artists are Cheryl Eve Acosta, Kristine Bolhuis, Allyson Bone, Caroline Gore, Misato Iijima, Masumi Kataoka, Katie Poterala, Kristi Sword, and Amy Tavern.

Susan Cummins: Theresa, tell me about your role at the J. Cotter Gallery and the path you took to get there.

Theresa Hauser: I am currently the gallery director of our Vail gallery. In 2010, I received my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Metals from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Since the fall of 2010, I have spent time as a bench jeweler in Jim Cotter’s studio and have been a sales associate in our two galleries.

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Cheryl Eve Acosta
Kristine Bolhuis
Caroline Gore
Katie Poterala
Kristi Sword

Jardins d’Hiver

Galerie Elsa Vanier, Paris, France

Karen Gay Galerie Elsa Vanier in Paris, France, is in tune with the season with a show called Jardins d’Hiver, or “Winter Gardens.” The exhibit features the work of gallery artists Nathalie Dmitrovic, Esther, Karen Gay, Patricia Lemaire, and Laurence and Philippe Ratinaud, as well as perfumes by Ann Gérard and Bertrand Duchaufour. The theme of the garden is meant to cheer us up in the dead of winter, which is a lovely poetic thought.

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 diversity. The winter/Christmas exhibition always features a group of jewelers, and because the time of year and the economy are so grim, we definitely wanted color. The name just came to me. I like poetry. In French Jardin d’hiver is a room in a house with lots of windows where you can keep your plants in the winter. It is also a room with a view of the garden, which in winter would be all black and white.

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Jewelry: From Antiquity to the Present by Clare Phillips
Nathalie Dmitrovic
Esther
Karen Gay
Patricia Lemaire
Philippe et Laurence Ratinaud

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

Society for Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Jane Harrison The Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a nonprofit space devoted to exhibitions of contemporary craft, as well as to education and outreach events for the community. For the past several months they have had an exhibition called Badges & Buttons, Waistcoats & Vests, which was curated by the international team of Robert Ebendorf from the USA and Elizabeth Turrell from the UK. The participating artists, mainly from the UK and USA, are Dail Behennah, Michael Brennand-Wood, Stephen Bottomley, Ken Bova, Melissa Cameron, Jim Cotter, Susan Cross, Robert Ebendorf, Beate Gegenwart, Caroline Gore, Jane Harrison, Gretchen Goss, Arthur Hash, Thomas Hill, Timothy Information Limited, Basil Kardasis, Felix Lindner, Megan McGaffigan, Trish O'Hara, Matthew Partington, Maria Phillips, Marissa Saneholtz, Marlene True, Elizabeth Turrell, and Jessica Turrell. It is a meditation on and contemporary interpretation of the use of metals and badges today. This show was previously featured at Velvet da Vinci and now is at the end of its run.

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, but as this play on words indicates, these words separated from their past have assumed subtle new meanings through function and practical necessity.

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Dail Behennah
Marissa Saneholtz
Matthew Partington
Susan Cross
Jane Harrison

Women Working Words

Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington, USA

Kat Cole For many years, Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery owner Karen Lorene has been interested in writing as well as jewelry. She has published a series of books called Signs of Life matching writer to jeweler and vice versa. An expert in estate and contemporary jewelry as well as writing, Lorene has planned a perfect show to match her dual interests called Women Working Words. The women chosen for this exhibition are Kristin Beeler, Nancy Bonnema, Kat Cole, Kathleen Faulkner, Nadine Kariya, Marcia Keefer, Mary Hallam Pearse, Gail Rappa, Jacquie Rice, Katherine Richmond, Sarah Wauzynski, and Kristi Zevenbergen.

Susan Cummins: Karen, you have been interested in both words and jewelry for many years. How did your interest develop in each area, and when did you decide to merge these two interests?

Karen Lorene: Some 20-plus years ago, an advertising consultant suggested I write a booklet for Facèré. I didn't hear the “let” part. I thought he wanted me to write a book. And so I produced Buying Antique Jewelry: Skipping the Mistakes. Writing that book was so much fun, I decided that fiction had to be even more fun! And it was. I’ve been writing ever since. Dancing with Bear is my first novel and fifth book. A second novel is underway.

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Dancing with Bear by Karen Lorene
Jacquie Rice
Nadine Kariya
Kat Cole
Kristi Zevenbergen

Lucy Sarneel: Soulmates

Galerie Marzee, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

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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Lucy Sarneel
Lucy Sarneel
Lucy Sarneel
Lucy Sarneel
Lucy Sarneel
Lucy Sarneel
Lucy Sarneel

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