Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show

The first weekend in November usually finds me in Chicago exploring the high end galleries who gather to present their artists in SOFA, the Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art  expo. I've gone for several years now, meeting distant friends who share my love of art. This year, I would have been solo, so I decided to take the opportunity to visit a much smaller show that meets during the same time frame, the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show.

Featuring twenty-eight invited jewelry artists, the show occupies two awkward rooms at a small conference center in NW Atlanta. Several of the artists are local and bring their full booths to set up, while other artists come by plane and bring only work to display in the basic low glass cabinets the show must provide.  In all cases, jewelry was the focus.

Carolyn Morris Bach
Perhaps my favorite jewelry artist, Carolyn Morris Bach, offered her incredible talismanic jewelry on plain white paper in two bare cases. A very minimalist display actually seemed to accent the work nicely. Seeing the collection laid out with groupings of earrings, brooch/pendants, boxes and brushes was just gorgeous. The pair of earrings with black birds that I coveted on the first visit were missing when I returned, perhaps as well for my pocketbook. I wish I had dared to ask to take a photo of her display, as there was something very artistic about the arrangement in places.

Sydney Lynch
Another of my favorites, Sydney Lynch, brought a streamlined booth evidently designed for travel to display her refined wares. I waffled over cluster necklaces and earrings that I've admired online. It was so wonderful to have the work at waist level right out in the open to be touched, rather than hidden away behind low glass. Since the clusters are very mobile, getting to pick a necklace up and examine each component individually is very rewarding.

Patricia Tschetter
My third top choice of artists from this selection is Patricia Tschetter, whose delicate granulation work particularly impresses me now that I've tried this for myself. We chatted about granulation, about Ronda Coryell's amazing teaching talents, and about the miracles of Argentium sterling silver. Although I resisted these diamond and gold granulated daisy earrings that called my name, I did feel I'd made an artist friend.

Back home after the getaway weekend, I'm analyzing what draws me to the work of certain artists. One thing that all three of these artists have in common is stones. Both Sydney and Carolyn work with exquisite large stones, while Patricia uses small diamonds. Gold also figures noticeably in their work, although combined with oxidized silver. I've been recently purchasing more stones to incorporate into my own work, and I've added tiny touches of gold, but I'm going to explore more seriously both of these directions.