An art historian (BA) and furniture designer (MA) by training, Benjamin Lignel veered toward jewelry design just after earning his master's degree. Lignel describes himself as a designer, writer, and curator. In 2007, he co-founded la garantie, association pour le bijou, a French association with a mission to study and promote jewelry. He became a member of Think Tank, a European Initiative for the Applied Arts, in 2009, and was a guest teacher at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Nuremberg, Germany) in 2013. Lignel was appointed editor of Art Jewelry Forum in January of the same year. In 2015, he edited the first book-length study of jewelry exhibition-making, "Shows and Tales."
What the hell is “reporting on contemporary practice” about? Who’s reporting on contemporary craft or contemporary jewelry, and what, exactly, is their goal?
It turns out that there are a number of online and print platforms that promote, discuss, and critically report on the field of contemporary jewelry, and that we had a chance to ask them directly. In 2014, editors and independent writers from around the world met in Munich for a closed-door, “meet-your-editorial-neighbor” session. Arnoldsche (Germany), Art Aurea (Germany), Art Jewelry Forum (US), and Current Obsession (Netherlands) were there, as were Klimt02 (Spain), Metalsmith (US), Norwegian Crafts (Norway), and Overview (New Zealand). The independent writers present were Liesbeth den Besten, Pravu Mazumdar, Kellie Riggs, and Jorunn Veiteberg. The excitement of all being in the same room, and sharing our diverse experience and expectations, led to another reunion in 2015, and a number of inspiring partnerships. (AJF partnered up with Klimt, for example, to promote a series of texts on criticality; and Norwegian Crafts’ editor André Gali wrote some great texts for AJF, as did Veiteberg, Riggs, and, of course, den Besten.)
“Why did you not make it public?” you ask. I was just coming to that.
In February 2016, content providers André Gali, Kellie Riggs (now editor at Current Obsession), and Benjamin Lignel sat with AJF Executive Director Rebekah Frank to chat about myths of origin, editorial missions, image use, and finances. And, well, about you, dear reader.
That panel was part of The Meet, a symposium co-organized by Art Jewelry Forum, Current Obsessions, and Norwegian Crafts, and (very kindly) hosted by Villa Stück (The symposium also featured a great Collectors panel, already online.)
Below is the video for the content providers meeting: enjoy.