Board and Staff

 Susan Cummins | Board Chair

I have taste for small, intimate artworks and jewelry fits that description. I tend to like jewelry that is a bit raw or honest to its materials and making techniques. I am often attracted to pieces that reflect my West Coast attachment to nature and things of the spirit. Oddly enough, I don’t care about wearability at all since I rarely wear jewelry… I know it’s weird. Many years ago I launched AJF and have an ongoing commitment to AJF because I believe that linking together AJF members–curators, gallerists and collectors–is critical to furthering a healthy and educated audience for jewelers.

Linda Peshkin Secretary

After a career in corporate America, I am now “emancipated” and fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue my passions, one of which is contemporary art jewelry. I have always been intrigued by this art form, especially jewelry made out of “non-traditional” materials. Unfortunately, I have no natural talent of my own to create it. However, my involvement with AFJ is providing me with the opportunity to broaden my knowledge about the field and develop a whole new level of appreciation and fascination. Best of all, I no longer have to explain (or justify) my jewelry to anyone!

Marion Fulk Treasurer

Marion Fulk describes herself as an art jewelry maniac. She has been collecting since the mid 1990s and cannot seem to quit. One of Marion’s quirks is that if she owns it, she will wear it. So, residents of Little Rock, Arkansas, regularly get to see great art jewelry – at the grocery store, in the office, at church, at art openings – every day. Wearability is one of the themes of her collection and one of the points she is insistent about. Marion’s day job is as senior vice president and senior financial consultant at Stephens Inc., a financial services company which is based in Little Rock. She is married, has one son and neither of the men in her life care much about art jewelry but they have learned to tolerate it.

Susan Kempkin Grants Program Director

AJF is my teacher. I have learned so much about studio artist jewelry — discovered books and websites, galleries and exhibits and have been exposed to work by artists I would never have discovered on my own. My horizon and vision have been greatly expanded since joining AJF.I like to think that my work on the Board, particularly with the award program, helps bring attention to and helps to promote studio jewelry artists and their work to a broader audience. My collection doesn’t have a particular focus, although my husband feels it’s somewhat anthropomorphic. I collect what speaks to me and has the loudest voice at the moment.

Sienna Patti

As an art dealer that represents some of the major influences and artists in contemporary jewelry today I am proud to belong to AJF. I don’t make jewelry, I rarely wear it and yet . . . I love it. The story that it tells is a thread binding us all together, each artist finds their own way to pull this thread just a bit further. My background in non-profit work, otherwise known as owning a gallery, makes AJF an exciting place to assist in carving and building the future of contemporary jewelry. ‘Finite to fail, infinite to venture.’ (Emily Dickinson)

Bella Neyman

During my graduate school education, I never took a class on jewelry. My jewelry education came from my first post-graduate school job in a gallery that sold period jewelry. However I had not really been exposed to contemporary art jewelry until my first trip with the AJF to Munich for Schmuck. This experience opened my eyes to a world that I was not familiar with. The AJF community is a wonderful mix of artists, gallery owners, museum curators, and collectors who are all passionate about contemporary artist jewelry and who work very hard to promote the field. As a writer and gallery director, I am very proud to be a part of this group and hope that through my articles I can inspire someone the same way that the AJF community has inspired me.

 Liesbeth den Besten

During my study of Art History and Archaeology at the University of Amsterdam, I became intrigued and tempted by contemporary jewellery. In the early 1980s it was like a ‘terra incognita’ for a young art historian. Today, in a growing global context, contemporary jewellery remains a weird small niche in the art world, but I have learned that small is beautiful, and small has power. I’m particularly interested in artists who cross borders and set new standards of appreciation. I see it as my mission to create a better understanding for contemporary jewellery through writing, lecturing, advising, curating, and teaching.

Raissa Bump Raissa Bump

I am a jeweler currently making work in San Francisco, California. My practice has been driven by the subtle yet powerful transformation that happens when we adorn ourselves. Participating in the community from which I make my living is incredibly important to me. AJF connects the facets of this field and supports a healthy ecosystem. It is an honor to be a part of this organization.

Doug Bucci

I am a jeweler, designer and educator, I am transfixed the connection between people and meaningful objects. My affinity toward jewelry began over twenty years ago with a passion for making. The AJF is a confluence of makers, collector, curators and I am honored to work closely with other dedicated professionals.

 Sofia Björkman

I live and work in Stockholm, Sweden. After my MA degree in 1998 I thought contemporary jewelry needed a platform in Stockholm.  So, then I started PLATINA which opened for public 1999. Since then I have been working as a jewelry artist and curator with all kind of projects that creates scenes for the jewelry field. 

I believe in jewelry that fascinates, annoys and tickles. I make jewelry that questions unwritten structures, and show jewelry that attracts others to think and feel. I wears jewelry that loads my batteries, and illustrates my thoughts, discuss jewelry that may seem strange to the viewer and sell jewelry stunned or strengthen people’s feelings. I think of jewelry as miniatures of life’s content and dream of jewelry with subliminal messages.

 Benjamin Lignel Editor

Benjamin first trained in philosophy & literature, then in art history, at New York University, and finally in furniture design, in London. Most of his time is devoted to creating jewellery, but the laws of gravity have recently been steering him back towards desktop adventures, including, but not limited to, curatorial, associative and writing endeavours. Benjamin co-founded la garantie, association pour le bijou, a French association with a mission to study and promote jewellery, in 2007. He became a member of Think Tank. A European Initiative for the Applied Arts, in 2009, and editor of Art Jewelry Forum in January 2013.

 Marthe le Van Communication Director

Marthe Le Van’s mother is a watercolorist and her father was a lawyer. This genetic mashup makes her uniquely equipped to serve the business needs of creative professionals. Marthe is passionate about discovering, developing, and promoting contemporary jewelry. Her recent affiliation with Art Jewelry Forum is a perfect fit.

As senior editor for Lark Books, Marthe guided more than 60 publications from concept to market, including all jewelry books in the “500” series. She founded Lark Jewelry, a division of Lark Books, and built it into widely respected and profitable brand. Marthe left publishing in 2011 to partner with jeweler Joanna Gollberg. Together they launched Mora, an intimate retail setting in which casual shoppers and collectors alike have a comfortable entrance into contemporary jewelry. Mora channels the vibrancy of Asheville’s artistic community into an inviting experience that’s both fun and thoughtful.


 Rebekah Frank Content Manager

Rebekah is an artist with an organizing streak who enjoys traveling the world in search of interesting experiences to fuel her art practice.


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