Book Review

Gerd Rothmann: Catalog Raisonné 1967-2008

It’s not often you see an art book whose text is more interesting than the photographs. But such is the case with this retrospective catalog of the work of Gerd Rothmann. The hefty 404-page book shows the artist’s entire oeuvre (or at least everything he documented) from 1967 to 2008. The 589 photographs give a good idea of Rothmann’s changing styles and there are occasional full-page illustrations of some of his most distinctive pieces. But the text is a must-read for every collector, whether or not they know or care about the work itself.

Modern Jewellery Design

Whether you would enjoy this weighty book (399 pages) or prefer to give it a pass depends on how you view yourself as a collector and how interested you are in the broad field of contemporary European (particularly German) jewelry.

Symbiotic Realms: Robin Kranitsky and Kim Overstreet – Selected Works 1985-2008

No one tells a story quite like Robin Kranitzky and Kim Overstreet. Each narrative is skillfully presented with just enough visual information to engage and please the ‘reader.’ Ultimately each work satisfies on its own merits, but always leaves the observer wanting just one more story from this talented duo, who seem to have an inexhaustible number of literary delights swimming in their collective heads, ready to become the next jewel.

500 Series

Blah, Blah, Blah. Do you ever tire of words? It seems that we are inundated with them from the time we wake until we finally escape them in sleep. What to do short of exile? Relax, take a deep breath, and use your eyes for seeing, not reading! As children, we saw with wonder before we read with understanding. Let’s recapture that wonder and open a ‘picture book’.

From Hand to Hand: Passing on Skill and Know How in European Contemporary Jewellery

What was the sound of the front door slamming? What kind of imprint would your living-room carpet leave on your naked knees? How did your mother smell when she left Saturday night for a party? These are some of the assignments that Iris Eichenberg gives her students so that through childhood memories they might gain insight into their obsessions and develop them into an artistic language.

Masters: Gold – Major Works by Leading Artists

It is said that Arctic peoples have one hundred words for snow. There could easily be that many words to describe the gold jewelry in Masters: Gold: Major Works by Leading Artists. At first glance the 40 featured jewelers have little to connect them, other than their extraordinary facility with the precious material. Internationally known artists such as Wendy Ramshaw and Bruno Martinazzi are rightfully included, but there are many pleasant surprises as well that make this book well worth looking for.

Kevin Coates: A Hidden Alchemy – Goldsmithing: Jewels and Tablepieces

Kevin Coates calls himself a ‘ghost whisperer’ and he’s right. The jewelry, table ornaments and drawings of this British artist carry a unique message of fantasy and enchantment, coupled with a Cellini-like mastery of goldsmithing techniques. Dr Elizabeth Goring and Dr Helen Clifford contribute thoughtful and detailed analyses of Coates’s creative processes and passions, including …

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Adorn: New Jewelry

With over 400 images by nearly 200 artists, there is a lot to look at in Adorn: New Jewelry by Amanda Mansell. The book’s chapters are organized by jewelry type (rings, brooches, etc.) with a short introduction for each section. The jewelers represented are mostly young and European, many of whom attended the Royal College of Art in London. There are only a handful of United States jewelers featured.

The Fat Booty of Madness: The Goldsmithing Class at Munich Art Academy

If there’s one word I would disagree with in the title of this book, it would be ‘madness.’ This weighty volume (519 pages) with its black and white comic book-style cover is in fact an exciting tribute to the serious, fun, dangerous and voluptuously varied work of 77 past and present students of Otto Künzli, …

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