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Archive for July 28th, 2011

Jewelers’ Werk Gallery in DC

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

Jewelers’ Werk Gallery in DC

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.


















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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:




















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A Novel Way To Fund Creativity

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

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:

Re-Sale Value

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American Gypsy Jewelry

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2011

American Gypsy Jewelry


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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