Jennifer Cross Gans is a writer and collector of jewelry and a member of AJF, SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) and MAG (Metal Arts Guild).
Celebrating 70: 70 Years by 70 Artists, published by Lorene Publications and Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery, is like a charming little book of hours, only six-and-a-half inches square. Its purpose is to celebrate as AJF member Karen Lorene, head of Facèré gallery in Seattle, turns 70 on August 19, 2010 and looks back to enjoy the past.
The artists were chosen because each would be able to turn a year into a work of jewelry, each nicely placed on a single page. Not surprisingly, every offering could produce a giggle – with a bite attached. Here's Rosa Parks's Bus, a pin by Judith Hoyt, reflecting 1955, or That Was the Price by Biba Schutz for 1972, a pin showing a whirly concatenation of consumer samples.
Other work hits the spot nicely, such as Charra Jarosz's Take, Thou, marking the introduction of the AIDS virus in 1984, or Hiroshi Watanabe's The Six, in which six roses on a chain and a dog tag illustrate the panic that was caused in 1993 when a car bomb was detonated outside the World Trade Center in New York.
One minor disappointment is the slight confusion between 'event' and 'crisis.' Was there no bigger crisis in 1994 than the one marked in Julie Speidel's Karnag, or in 2005 by Andy Cooperman's It Takes a Tough Man to Make a Tender Chicken: Ring-tisserie #5, or Rosemary Pham's ring which celebrates the 43rd anniversary of the Spelling Bee in 1970?
However, none of the entries in this book show the changing style of any jeweler working since 1940. They are the true reflection of the past seen through the eye of the present.