Sorcerer’s Stone curated by Bruce Hoffman

Gravers Lane Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Jeong Ju Lee Gravers Lane Gallery is a very new supporter of Art Jewelry Forum. Bruce Hoffman is well known to us for many high quality exhibitions he organized for the fiber community. He has curated this jewelry exhibit for the gallery as the new Gallery Director. We welcome them to the mix.

Susan Cummins: Can you tell us a little about the Gravers Lane Gallery? And your role there?

Bruce Hoffman: I became director of Gravers Lane Gallery at the end of May of this year. I spent the year and a half before recovering from several serious illnesses. During that time I worked developing an international fiber festival in called FiberPhiladelphia 2012. Along with Amy Orr, the executive director and several close friends, we created a citywide arts festival in March 2012. Mayor Nutter proclaimed March Fiber Month in Philadelphia as 61 venues exhibited works from across the globe. After the festival I began searching for work. I randomly applied for the post as Director of Gravers Lane. I was hired on the spot with the understanding that the gallery would provide an educational and artistic outlet in the charming historic neighborhood of Philadelphia. The owner of the gallery, Ken Goldenberg, owns a development company called The Goldenberg Group and supports a non-profit organization called People Helping People. The gallery is focused on community out-reach, education and strives to exhibit innovative works by established and emerging artists in all medium.

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Dave and Roberta Williamson
Jeong Ju Lee
Melissa Schmidt
Dave and Roberta Williamson
Wendy Ramshaw

Rebel Metal: Red Gold

Aaron Faber, New York, NY

Harold O’Connor Aaron Faber Gallery in New York City has a plum location right across from the Museum of Modern Art and shows both traditional and art jewelry, antique and new jewelry, as well as watches.  They hold two shows a year and we caught the last one Innovation and Craftsmanship: The Jewelers of Quebec for our blog in May. This large show, Rebel Metal: Red Gold takes an interesting slice through the field and comes up with jewelers using red gold. By putting this material under the telescope Patricia Faber, the gallery owner and curator of the show, gives us insight into both a traditional and contemporary point of view.

Susan Cummins: Why did you call the show Rebel Metal?

Patricia Faber: Titles for shows usually rise up through some kind of mostly unconscious word association based on the theme itself or research around the theme. This title popped out based on jewelry history: that we could not – and still cannot – find a clear pattern or understanding of this metal’s appearance and disappearance in jewelry making over the last 100 years. We could document its wide popularity at mid-twentieth century, but otherwise it seemed unpredictable when and where it would appear. Which led to the wild thought that it had a mind of its own, which led to Rebel Metal.

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Enric Majora
Harold O’Connor
Peter Schmid
Daniel Porter Stevens

Behind the Brooch

crafthaus

Lorena Angulo crafthaus is an online community with close to 2000 members. Brigitte Martin, who is the originator of crafthaus and keeps all their balls in the air, is also a gallery member of AJF. crafthaus is a place for professional craft artists to display their work and connect internationally across all fields of interest. Each month, one of the members is asked to curate an online exhibition. During the month of October, Mexican jeweler Lorena Angelo was asked to do the honors. Her exhibition focuses on the back of the brooch called Behind the Brooch.

Susan Cummins: Did you train as a jeweler?

Lorena Angulo: My initial studies were not related to jewelry making at all. I studied mass communications and was looking to work as a journalist when I finished my studies, but destiny brought me to the United States and all my plans changed. I found my true passion later on in life when I started to take metalsmithing classes at Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas. Since then I have not stopped making jewelry.

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Sarah Truett
Sarah Truett
Abigail Heuss
Abigail Heuss
Chris Irick
Chris Irick
Rebecca Hannon
Rebecca Hannon
Gustavo Paradiso
Gustavo Paradiso
Lorena Angulo

Ana Albuquerque

Aaron Decker

Ana Albuquerque Aaron Decker is a recent graduate who is using a CCCD (Center for Craft, Creativity and Design) grant to travel in Europe and interview artists. He has been traveling in Lisbon and in this, the third interview in his series, he talks with Ana Albuquerque, a Portuguese jeweler with a smooth, minimal bent. During his time in Portugal he has been the Artist-in-Residence with PIN who, without their assistance, this research and the interviews would not have been possible.

Aaron Decker: Ana Albuquerque is a Portuguese jewelry artist with an expansive view. She has not limited herself to jewelry only but also includes sculpture in her practice. Since 2007 she has been the Vice President of The Association of Portuguese Jewelry (PIN), which is an organization committed to increasing the knowledge about and coverage of Portuguese jewelry. Her familiarity with the subject and of the artists working in Portugal is the reason I chose to get her input.

When did you start studying jewelry? Or if you started with another discipline, what was it and how did you start working in jewelry?

Ana Albuquerque: I have a degree in sculpture from the Lisbon School of Fine Arts, but jewelry was always my goal, because sculpture and jewelry have some characteristics in common. Jewelry has specific qualities that are of the utmost interest to me, like its privileged relationship to the body. The piece of jewelry has its own time of perception and fruition. By wearing it we are aware of its presence, a presence that dissolves into the unconscious, to be felt in one moment and forgotten the next. This subtle relationship fascinates me. Its scale also evokes our human condition and the possibility to relate to art on a daily basis, bringing into our lives and the lives of others a presence that is frequently unavailable. Our houses are the small space that each one of us occupies and they are getting smaller all the time. Jewelry gives us a macro view through a micro size. I tend to identify with jewelry that involves the body with a specific structure. I feel an intense relationship with three-dimensional forms, so I prefer the arts that are related to space: architecture, installations, sculpture, dance and Jewelry.

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Ana Albuquerque
Ana Albuquerque
Ana Albuquerque
Ana Albuquerque
Ana Albuquerque
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Johanna Dahm: Enhancements

Galerie Ra, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Johanna Dahm Galerie Ra in Amsterdam was an early champion of contemporary jewelry. It was established in 1976 by Paul Derrez, a jeweler and legendary visionary. Paul continues to run his gallery and this month we catch an exhibition there of the work of Johanna Dahm. She is doing the same rings as she has for a long time but with Enhancements, which is the title of the show.

Susan Cummins: You have probably answered this question many times, so I have to request your patience, but you are known for making rings using a casting technique acquired from the African Ashanti and Indian Dokra. Can you please talk about that process?

Johanna Dahm: Compared to other lost-wax casting methods around the world, theirs is unique and genius. Both cultures, living so far apart, not even aware of each other, share a process aptly described as casting in a closed cycle. Yes, the wax model is lost after it has been encased in clay and melted out, yet is still there in its negative. This shell is joined with a layer of clay to the crucible containing the metal, looking like a Babushka. An old oil barrel serves as a furnace, like those of the Ashanti. I love the 1100-degree heat and the smell of glowing bright yellow coal. With long tongs the glowing forms are pulled out of the furnace and merely flipped upside down for casting. This is the closed cycle technique, everything mysteriously hidden to the eye, no separate melting and pouring of the metal. The most exciting part is cracking open the form. Has the piece been cast successfully, or is everything lost? This closed cycle process has great advantage, but as usual only if mastered. Lost and Found: The Ashanti Trail to Rings was thus the title of my first book.

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Johanna Dahm
Johanna Dahm
Johanna Dahm
Johanna Dahm

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