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Archive for July, 2011

SINGING BIRD PISTOLS

Posted by learntobead on July 30, 2011

SINGING BIRD PISTOLS

Watch this video of these 200 year old Singing Bird Pistols.   They recently sold for over $5 million at auction.

http://www.christies.com/features/singing-bird-pistols-en-1422-3.aspx

 

Made of gold and enamel and set with pearls and diamonds. They are the only known surviving pair and
attributed to the Geneva firm of Freres Rochat.

 

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Jewelers’ Werk Gallery in DC

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

Jewelers’ Werk Gallery in DC
http://www.jewelerswerk.com/ 

I am always on the lookout for galleries that sell and promote hand crafted art jewelry.     Not that easy to find, when you are not in one of the few more enlightened communities in the United States.     Most art galleries in Nashville, for example, shy away from jewelry.   They either view it as craft, not art.   Or not particularly relevant to arts in general.

One gallery in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC is known the world over for innovative contemporary jewelry by international artists.    Jewelers’ Werk Gallery.      When visiting DC, don’t forget to stop by for a real treat.

Some current artists at the Gallery.

TALYA BAHARAL

 

 

SVENJA JOHN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRIS BODEMER

 

 

REBECCA HANNON

 

 

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The Artist As Jeweler

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

The Artist As Jeweler

Originally, I was a painter.    I didn’t begin making jewelry until I was in my late 30’s.     When I began, I tried to make every necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings, as if these were to be painted.   Never worked.  These things have to be engineered.    Hopefully you end up with something both beautiful and functional.

Today, I see jewelry as “art”, but something somewhat different than painting or sculpture.   But occasionally the urge to paint jewelry arises.

There is going to be an exhibit at the Museum of Arts & Design in New York City on Artists as Jewelers.  The exhibit, to run from 9/20/11 thru 1/8/12, will be entitled “Picasso to Koons: Artist as Jewelry.”

Whether they were as successful as jeweler’s as they were painters or sculptors, well that’s something for you to decide.     All I know is that it is difficult to transition from one to the other.   Here’s some of what you might see:

GEORGE BRAQUE

 

 

MAX ERNST

 

LUCIO FONTANA

 

bracelet

 

 

 

LOUISE NEVELSON

 

 

ANTHONY CARO

 

 

ANISH KAPOOR

 

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A Novel Way To Fund Creativity

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

KICKSTARTER.COM
A Novel Way To Fund Creativity

I had recently read an article about Kristy Lin, a jewelry artist who was attempting to launch a new jewelry line, and was searching for money.   She turned to a website called Kickstarter.com to get some assistance in creating a fund-raising campaign.    Now-a-days, you need to be very creative to get your creative endeavors off to a start.

Kickstarter.com is one of a new set of fundraising platforms called “crowdfunding”.    The website facilitates gathering monetary resources from the general public.   This model circumvents traditional avenues for raising money.

People must apply to Kickstarter to have a project posted on the site.   Projects are promoted for a fixed timeframe.  They have millions of visitors to their site daily.  They can invest as little as $1.00.   The artist much reach the full target amount to receive any funds.   Otherwise, no funds are provided.     Kickstarter keeps 5% of the funds raised.    They do NOT keep any rights over your intellectual property.

Kickstarter offers an online tutorial for how to package and write up your project for maximum impact.

They promote both big and small projects.   They define a “small” project as something a group of friends might want to accomplish in a weekend.

And Kristy Lin was successful.   She sought $10,000 in start-up funds, and received $10,015 within the alotted time.   Click Kristy‘s name to view her Kickstarter.com campaign.

 

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Jewelry Appraisals

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

Jewelry Appraisals

Homeowners insurance rarely covers the full value of jewelry, in the event of loss or theft.

To cover the full value of your fine jewelry or collectible art jewelry, you should have a professional appraiser evaluate each piece, and then have it covered by your insurance as a separate policy or attachment to your current policy.

Choosing A Qualified Appraiser

Check out the following:
1. Educational Background.    Certified gemologist?  Certified jewelry appraiser?   Training by American Society of Appraisers?

2. Does the jewelry appraiser follow the Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP)?  Not a requirement, but a good indicator of quality.

3. Works full time as an appraiser.

4. Associated with a jewelry store or manufacturer

5. Ask for references.   Especially from other professionals, such as banks, lawyers, or trust companies.

6. How does the appraiser charge? The fee for a professional appraisal should only be on an hourly rate or a piece rate based on time and complexity, and never a percentage of the value of the item appraised.

Be prepared to give the appraiser any documentation you have, such as receipts.
Be prepared to be charged a flat fee up front, typically $50.00 or more.
Verify with your insurance company how often they require appraisals, for the insurance to remain valid.

 

Valuing Costume Jewelry

Most costume jewelry has little inherent value because it is not made from precious metals or with precious stones.

So, the value of costume jewelry has to do with such things as:

Desirability
Condition
Re-Sale Value
Sentimentality

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American Gypsy Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

American Gypsy Jewelry

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/tips/gypsy.html

The Antiques Road Show has a fascinating article about American Gypsy Jewelry on their blog.

Gypsy Jewelry dates from the 1900-1930’s period.   During this time, many gypsies migrated to America and brought their jewelry-making skills with them.

Gypsy Jewelry is a rare form of jewelry with strong associations to the romance of the gypsy.   Much of the jewelry is 14KT gold.   Many pieces have embedded stones, but more likely the stones are synthetic.  Gypsies didn’t have a way to verify the worth of stones.   They used synthetic stones so they wouldn’t be a position of having to value them.

Gypsies were excellent at jewelry craft because they always carried their wealth with them.   It was easier and safer to carry their wealth in the form of jewelry.

Gypsies used a lot of coins in their jewelry.   They liked to represent the profiles of women, like cameos, which they called gypsy queens.

Gypsy jewelry is worth thousands of dollars.

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Ceramics and Clay All Grown Up As Jewelry Medium

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

Ceramics and Clay All Grown Up As Jewelry Medium

There have been some prominent exhibits and collections around the country highlighting the work of ceramics artists in jewelry.   Some of it is high-fired clay, some raku, some polymer clay and some metal clay.      It’s always very exciting to see how artists can achieve good jewelry design goals with new materials or new applications of materials.

Wearable Ceramics

One of the most prominent exhibits was called Wearable-Ceramics, at  Pewabic Pottery, in Detroit, Michigan.

From their promotional materials:

Wearable Ceramics: Jewelry from International Artists is a collaboration between Linda Ross Contemporary: Art + Projects and Tara Robinson, Curator of Ceramics, Pewabic Pottery. It brings together some of the finest established and emerging artists who are staking out new territories of design, transforming clay into jewelry often combined with found objects and other non-traditional materials. The show features a collection of intriguing and innovative brooches, necklaces, earrings and rings which demonstrate the bridge between ceramics and functional objects for the body; form and material. The tactile nature of ceramics creates a particularly visual language when translated into functional objects to wear – clay is fragile, yet direct contact with the body provides a personal resting place that is warm, protective and very intimate.

Sixteen established and emerging artists representing six countries are participating in the exhibition. The new generation of Dutch designers will be well represented in the show. True to their country’s reputation for producing outstanding craftsmen, they bring a unique international overview of avant-garde jewelry design to the mix. Likewise, artists from the U.S., Spain, Taiwan, Germany and Australia are all masters at technique and highly innovative makers who are staking out new territories of experimentation.

Some works of artists featured:

Rian de Jong. eft to right: Porcelain Necklace: gold luster, copper, tombac | Brooch: bone china, copper, garnets | Brooch: bone china, copper | Brooch: bone china, copper

Iris Eichenberg. Brooch: porcelain, coin and bone

Maria Hees. Necklace: foam, porcelain, rubber

Peter Hoogeboom. “Shaoxing Peony”, Brooch: porcelain, silver, lacquer, nylon, steel

Jet Mous. Necklace: porcelain w/luster and patina

Pauline Wietz. Limonges Eggs | Materials: Porcelain, ceramic transfers | photo credit: Ron Zijlstra

Shu-lin Wu. “Mokume Olive”, Necklace: carved porcelain, steel wire and silver

Shu-lin Wu. Mokume Game series. By hollowing out motifs in the colored porcelain, I achieved a layered polychromatic effect.

Shu-lin Wu. Earrings

Gaby Wandscher. Necklace: porcelain, pearls

David Eliot. Necklace: Vitreous porcelain beads, metal oxide pigments, sterling silver clasp

Evert Nijland. “Rococo,” 2010, Necklace: porcelain, hand-woven linen

For & Forlano. Brooch: polymer clay, metal, colored oxides

Featured Artists:
Sebastian Buescher
Pilar Cotter Nunez
Rian de Jong
Iris Eichenberg
David Elliot
Ford & Forlano
Caroline Gore
Maria Hees
Peter Hoogeboom
Jet Mous
Evert Nijland
Karin Seufert
Andrea Wagner
Gaby Wandscher
Pauline Wiertz
Shu-lin Wu

A Bit of Clay On The Skin

Another exhibit, running through september 2011, is this new ceramics jewelry show at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.

Some of the works on display here:

Peter Hoojeboorn. Collar

Ceramics always have great eye-appeal.  They are very alluring.   They can have stark colors, or unusual colorations and color blendings.   They can be almost unnervingly smooth, or have many different kinds of textures — all drawing the viewer to want to touch.   Ceramics can be modelled or cast, and are very versatile.

It is fascinating to see the many ways ceramics are used in jewelry.  In some cases, they are used to mimic traditional jewelry materials and forms.  In other cases, they are a material cast against type.

In the thousands of years between Egyptian faience and today, ceramics, for the most part, have not played a major role in jewelry.   People found the material too close to the earth, too humble to use to convey wealth and elegance.    But this is changing.

Gesine Hacklenberg

Gesine Hacklenberg

Gesine Hacklenberg

Marie Pendaries

Marie Pendaries

Wearable Ceramics Gallery

This online  Gallery showcases sculptural jewelry by Canadian artist Erika Ferrarin.   Some of her pieces:

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To Be, Or Not To Be?

Posted by learntobead on July 22, 2011

New article posted in our How To Bead  A Rogue Elephant column.

TO BE, OR NOT TO BE?

To be a Jewelry Artist, or not to be?

What should I do? Will I succeed? How will I succeed? I’m afraid to change careers. I’m afraid no one will like my stuff. I’m too shy to get stores to sell my stuff. I haven’t learned everything I need to learn. I don’t make necklaces as well as so-and-so. I don’t have enough money to start a business. I don’t know how to start a business. I need to take more classes. There are four more books I want to read and work through before I get started. I don’t have the supplies people want.

Ponderings, ponderings, ponderings. Thought paralzyes action. Your Rogue Elephant keeps charging at you, and you’re too scared to even get out of the way. You’re toe juice. You should have run away. But things happen too fast. Things are too much. Too difficult. Too unknown. Will that Rogue Elephant veer off to the right, or maybe, a bit to the left, or will that Elephant step right over you.

SQUISH!

Do you see yourself in these posed dilemmas? Or are you too hesistant for even this shallow reflection? Do you find yourself in such an existential crisis that you are too blind or too tired or too scared or too angry to sense your Rogue Elephant on your horizon? Or find your Elephant on your beaten path? Or comtemplate him? Or even bead him?

Maybe there’s too much Hamlet in you. The Hamlet Trap. Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for most of the play, cannot make up his mind. Should he / Shouldn’t he? Will he / Won’t he? Could he / Can’t he? ….

Continue reading….

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Any Lessons To Learn From Nail Polish Trends?

Posted by learntobead on July 1, 2011

Any Lessons To Learn
From Nail Polish Trends?
http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/06/30/why-did-wild-nail-polish-go-mainstream-10/nail-polish-is-the-new-lipstick

From Alllacqueredup.com

I read this article recently in the NYT, how women are using many more colors of nail polish than the traditional reds and pinks, and that the use of the full color palette of nail polish colors is getting very institutionalized and accepted.

The writer offers a point of view here for discussion.   Her main point, is that in an era of a weak economy, Chanel nail polish offers at a much lower cost the same cache as purchasing the more expensive Chanel perfume or clothing.   People still want status and the qualities associated with it.   They can not afford the top of the line items they used to.

Many of us are in the business of selling jewelry.     In this economy, how do we survive and thrive as a jewelry design business?   How do we preserve our brand — especially if most of what we sell is on the high-end side?

Is it enough to lower our price points?  Or must we also maintain very visible links and symbols to ideas of status, quality and sophistication?    And if we are to stand out from the pack, should we push things like out of the ordinary colors, textures and patterns?   How far do we push things like color, texture and pattern, to get noticed?   How far can we push these kinds of things, and still be accepted?

 

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