Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Washington Craft Show: Karin Worden

Phlox Brooch
gold, blackened silver and rubies
by Karin Worden

Although I won't be at the Washington Craft Show in person this year, I wanted to highlight the work of one jeweler who will be showing. This is one of the best craft shows in the country, with a small group of jewelers, making mostly one of a kind pieces. It is from November 30th through December 1st.

Lotus Boat
18k, blackened silver and ruby
Karin Worden

Karin Worden makes small poetic pieces, including many brooches. She uses a combination of fresh flowers with twigs and other elements such as small boats. The piece above has a tiny boat near the bottom of the twig. Her work is very sculptural, with a lot of contrast in color and texture.

Flowers and Leaves Brooch
18k, blackened silver and mixed sapphires
Karin Worden

Last year, she had a series of brooches like the one above, with a variety of colored flowers, such as one with flowers of pink gold, which happened to be my favorite. All of these pieces are one of a kind, so those that fall in love with one, but decide to think it over for too long, will likely be disappointed to find that "their " brooch has sold.

Karin will also be in New York next week to show her work at the new Couture Jewelry Award and Sale, which is December 8th at the Pratt Mansion, across from the Met.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Inspiration from the neighborhood

As I previously mentioned, my new Wrought and Brocade collections were inspired by the wrought iron I see around my neighborhood. Here are a couple of favorites that I snapped pictures of on my way home one night.

In the case of the red doors, I am glad to see that some people aren't afraid to go with bold colors for their entrance (although, this might not be allowed a few blocks over the the historic district). The red contrasts nicely with the tracery of the wrought iron gate in front of it.

This door is my favorite so far. The wrought iron is nice and heavy with some tapering. The other highlight is the addition of the stars into the iron with more stars on the bottom of the doors. With the warm colors in the vestibule shining through, this looks like a very inviting place to come home to on a cold November night. Below is a close-up of one of the window panels.

Below is a new piece in the Brocade collection, which incorporates details derived from wrought iron decoration. The curls overlaying the gold pattern are not symmetrically covering the entire piece, but it is intersting to compare it with the photo above.

Brocade Oval Large Pendant
18K and blackened silver

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guild Show

This weekend, the catalog and internet art retail company, called The Guild is hosting their first retail show in NYC. I have some work that will be in display and will be at the show for some of the hours that it is open.

The above photo was taken when I was preparing some work for the show. For my small petal-shaped stones, I use a thin strip of silver, fit it around the stone, solder it to a sheet of silver, and then cut it out into all of the little bezel pieces. This is what appears in the photo. All of the cut out bezels lined up in a row next to their corresponding garnets or peridots. These are the styles of earrings I made with these bezels and stones:

Persian Vine Earrings
sterling and garnet

Streaming Flourish Earrings
sterling and peridot

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Brocade Pieces

Before getting these pieces into a box on their way to Langman Gallery, I spent a few rushed minutes taking photos.... which would explain why they aren't as clear as they should be. I was short on time, and by the time I was done with the photo shoot, it was already 7:15. I got on my bike in hopes of finding a lingering UPS truck in my neighborhood. No luck. I pedaled towards the Brooklyn Bridge on my way to the UPS depot in Manhattan, but realized that I would probably pass out from hunger if I tried to ride all the way to the west side and back. Luckily, as I turned back to home, regretting that I was not going to make the deadline, I saw one of our wonderful Brooklyn UPS drivers of Jamaican descent, getting his meat pie fix at the Golden Krust bakery.

Is this post off topic or what? No, actually, my point here is that it seems that I spend a large part of my day packing things up in boxes, getting the papers in order, and rushing to get it on the truck in time. When do I have time to make jewelry? Sometimes I wonder myself. But, here they are, in all of their handmade glory.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Philly Museum Show

I didn't end up spending as much time as I would have liked to at the show. While there, I spent a good deal of time discussing this situation. That left less time for choosing some favorite pieces by various artists. Of course, since I was not exhibiting in the show, I was freely able to walk around and talk about the state of craft today.

Judith Kinghorn
Sterling and 24K gold

I have long admired Judith Kinghorn's brooch/ pendants made with a combination of sterling and 24kt gold. I had only seen them in print before, and after having the chance to hold one in my hand, I can say that print pales in comparison. The pieces really look flatter and larger than in reality. The delicacy of this piece above is astounding. The size is only about 2" across. That means that each of those flowers is nearly as delicate as a real flower. The flowers are arranged into a mound as well, so it is very dimensional.

Joanna Gollberg
Feather Rings
Sterling silver

I also had the chance to meet Joanna Gollberg in person for the first time. She has written a number of jewelry books, including The Art and Craft of Making Jewelry , which includes some of my work. Her work includes a lot of movement and some new pieces that have perforated panels. She is another younger generation jeweler that I am glad to see in both the Philly Museum show and the Smithsonian show this year.

Biba Schutz

Congratulations to Biba Schutz, a renowned jeweler, who won the award for Best Fiber at the Museum show for her sculptural baskets. The way that Biba's work ranges from simple earrings to elaborate bracelets and now, these baskets, is really inspiring.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

47th st

NY Diamond District

Here is a little window in to the New York jewelry world, mixed in with a story of economics. wished that they had more audio of the "we buy gold diamonds", guys.

I do shop in the NY jewelry district, although I use diamonds infrequently. There are also colored stone dealers, stone cutters, precious metal dealers, engravers, appraisers, stone setters, casters. You could pretty much make a whole jewelry line come into being by just shuffling from one specialist to another. Oh, and make sure to bring along a lot of money too.

I sometimes love the jewelry district for it's old fashioned way of business, but it is also such a hustle and before the holidays, it can be a hockey match, with everyone pushing each other out of the way...time is money after all.

After time, one can develop friendly relationships with people on the street and it can be pleasure to see them from time to time. However, when I first went to the district, it was a very intimidating place. People asked me if I was a student, and right off the bat, I knew they didn't take me seriously. I have since learned to have a poker face when something is far more expensive than I expected, pretending that it just doesn't quite suit my needs rather than exclaiming that I couldn't possibly buy something that expensive.

I would say that an out of towner that decides to buy an engagement ring from the diamond district is either very brave...or very foolish.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Philly Museum Show: Christy Klug

Every year, the Philadelphia Museum hosts what is considered one of the premier craft shows in the country. It is one of the five shows that everyone that does retail shows hopes to get into in their career. It is coming up this weekend, staring on Thursday the 8th of November, running through the 11th.

There, of course, are many booths filled with well-known artists with long lists of accomplishments. I get excited, however, about the artists that are closer to the beginning of their careers that get the chance to show for the first time.

Christy Klug and I are friends, dating back to the first ACC show in Baltimore for both of us, in 2004. Considering her history, her progress in her work and achievement is really remarkable. She has art training in her background, but it wasn't until she became a divorced single mom that undertook the making of jewelry as a career. As she recalled to me, she made five pieces, had them photographed, and got into the Baltimore show on the first try!

When she arrived at the show, she fast dumbstruck by the fact that she was showing with so many renowned people. Luckily, she had her friend with her to man her booth and take orders, while she wandered around wondering what she was doing there. She even got an order from a gallery that she used to frequent in Boston when she lived there.

Fast forward to today, and it is obvious that she has really risen to the top. I am hoping that she will find a great number of new admirers at the show in Philadelphia.
What I appreciate the most about Christy's work is the way she has taken the one technique of sawing in so many directions. Her style has remained very true to the first collection she showed in 2004, except that it has included so many dimensions and forms along the way.