Ms Art Jewelry Sleuth is my name and I am deeply passionate about contemporary art jewelry.
Wait, isn’t all jewelry art? In some ways, but art jewelry isn’t limited to precious stones and metals. It can be made of any object the craft person chooses to use, ranging from the traditional to the non-traditional such as glass, paper, rocks and found objects. The designer may take a traditionally valued object, such as a pearl, and slice it open, or combine gold with rusty nails, or replace a diamond with a piece of meat. Art jewelry often challenges the way we think and feel about the jewelry we wear and asks us to consider why we adore and buy it. Contemporary art jewelry can not only be worn, but also hung on a wall, displayed on a floor, or in some cases, eaten!
Isn’t each jewelry maker an artist? Kinda, sure, but I do believe the saying that all art can be craft, but not all craft is art. Most art jewelry makers have formal training as jewelers and goldsmiths.
How do you, Ms Sleuth, know what it is? Well, I’m fortunate enough to have taken jewelry classes from artists in the US and have first hand knowledge of traditional goldsmithing practices. I lugged my tools with me over the ocean, and roamed tiny streets meeting art jewelry makers. I also spend most of my free time reading about it or engaging with the artists that make it.
Ok, where in the world can we find it? Good question. Everywhere at the moment, but some cultures have invested more into teaching and developing the field of jewelry as an applied art than others. And Basel and the region, is, well, special because it remains slightly hidden, although it is here. My mission is to uncover the movements of this niche field in Switzerland and Europe and share it with you here!