Every Angle

Every Angle

Published on Monday, September 14, 2015. This article appears in the October/November 2015 issue of American Craft Magazine.
Author Staff
Contemporary Jewelry Design Thoughts On Inspiration And Expression Cover

Contemporary Jewelry Design Thoughts on Inspiration and Expression; Photo: Mark LaFlavor

Mark LaFavor

Contemporary Jewelry Design: Thoughts on Inspiration and Expression
By Liu Xiao and Li Puman
CYPI Press, $35

Fears manifested as rorschach- like 3D-printed resin. A collection of pieces inspired by three months of blind drawings. Skeletons transformed into mechanical, hybrid rings and brooches. Works that emit sound through loudspeakers when approached.

These are just a few of the intriguing and varied concepts explored in Contemporary Jewelry Design: Thoughts on Inspiration and Expression. This international survey of 38 artists – including authors Liu Xiao and Li Puman – is grouped around the themes of tradition, everyday life, meditation, and exploration. Xiao rightfully admits of the works, “Some of them may not be so brilliant in appearance, yet embrace extremely precious concepts and philosophies.”

It’s true: You’ll find yourself peering more closely at and thinking more deeply about many of these stunning pieces. ~Elizabeth Ryan

Shows and Tales: On Jewelry Exhibition-Making
Edited by Benjamin Lignel
Art Jewelry Forum, $30

Jewelry, removed from the human form, is arguably the most difficult sort of object to exhibit. Hung on a wall or laid flat in a vitrine surrounded by negative space, the dynamic connection between the work and the wearer can be lost. In Shows and Tales, a cast of discerning curatorial minds examines and dissects how jewelry exhibition-makers have risen to this challenge.

Editor Benjamin Lignel of Art Jewelry Forum and his contributors address shows from across the globe, beginning with MoMA’s “Modern Handmade Jewelry” (1946) through Vivien Atkinson’s innovative gallery in a coat, “Salon Rouge” (2014), at the Dowse Art Museum in New Zealand. They trace the evolution of the field, analyze the specific mechanics involved in curation of wearable objects, and review the practice’s experimental forefront. Shows and Tales not only exposes the reader to innovative endeavors (parades, performance, and even – gasp! – tactile experience), it also provides a vital reference for jewelry curatorial practice moving forward. ~Jessica Shaykett

Photography of Personal Adornment
By Robert K. Liu
Ornament, $39

Robert K. Liu learned to photograph jewelry and textiles out of necessity; in 1974, with Carolyn Benesh, he co-founded The Bead Journal, which in 1979 became Ornament – a magazine they still co-edit today. Now, Liu is sharing his 40-plus years of hard-won knowledge and editorial perspective in this approachable guide for craftspeople, scholars, and gallery and museum professionals. Calling on Ornament’s rich archives to illustrate his lessons, Liu covers the essentials – such as lighting, equipment, technique – and strides beyond them, diving into topics from the use of models and shooting in artists’ studios to magazine covers and creating advertisements. With a happy minimum of technical jargon, Photography of Personal Adornment is a thoughtful, essential resource for all those who, like Liu, know what it means to wear many hats. ~Julie K. Hanus