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Jewelry show at Met raises questions


#1

Interesting article - anyone gotten to see the show?
Beth Wicker

Jewelry Show at Met Raises Questions

Though not a household name like Tiffany or Cartier, Joel A.
Rosenthal is a major presence in bespoke jewelry. Mr. Rosenthal,
who works under the initials JAR, commands hundreds of thousands
of dollars for his glittering brooches and earrings worn by some
of the wealthiest people in the world, and many view his
creations as works of art.

That is why the Metropolitan Museum of Art says it gave Mr.
Rosenthal an exhibition, “Jewels by JAR,” the first it has ever
given to a living jeweler.

"Joel is one of the pre-eminent jewelry designers in the world,"
Thomas P. Campbell, the Met’s director, said in an interview.
“He’s almost like a sculptor in gems.”

But as often happens when museums mix culture with commerce, for
certain people in the art and fashion world the JAR exhibition
is raising questions about what boundaries should be observed in
such a setting. In this case, a pop-up shop and a trunk show
that accompanied the exhibition featured a special collection of
JAR-designed jewelry, with the Met benefiting from the proceeds.
Could the curatorial decision to feature Mr. Rosenthal’s work as
art be somewhat blurred by the administrative decision to
generate revenue from his merchandise?

“There is a moral hazard when using a museum as a venue
increases the value of a collection,” said Brian Daniels,
director of research and programs at the University of
Pennsylvania Museum’s Cultural Heritage Center.

“Having a trunk show is a bit much,” he added. “When do you stop
being a museum and start being a showroom?”

Eyebrows were raised further when an accompanying catalog was
largely written by Adrian Sassoon, a leading porcelain and
jewelry dealer, but not a Met curator; and because there is no
wall text or supporting historical material.

Marion Fasel, a jewelry historian and author of several books on
jewelry who saw the show, said she did not like its lack of a
story line, which she said was inspiring “passionate
conversations.”

"Many people are asking me: ‘Who is he? Why was he the chosen
one?’ " Ms. Fasel said in a telephone interview. “Traditionally,
in a museum like the Met, which I consider an educational
institution, I expect to walk away with more about
the designer, the history, the techniques.”

The Met said that the arrangement was nothing new; the museum
has commissioned and sold original prints by Robert
Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Howard Hodgkin and Richard Serra in
conjunction with its collection and with exhibitions, among
other artists.

“The collaboration reflected JAR’s willingness to support the
museum through its merchandising activities,” said Elyse
Topalian, a Met spokeswoman. “This is the standard business
model for many museums, including the Met. It allows visitors to
engage with what they have seen and enjoyed, and to support the
museum at the same time.”

As to whether there is any distinction between selling
reproductions and selling JAR originals $600 watches and
earrings from $2,500 to $7,500 “they are an edition, produced
under JAR’s direction,” Ms. Topalian said. “This is absolutely
in the tradition of artists’ editions developed and sold by the
Met in the mezzanine gallery store.”

The exhibition, which opened on Nov. 20 and runs through March
9, presents nearly 400 of Mr. Rosenthal’s pieces, all of them
lent by their owners. Known as a master of the pav technique,
Mr. Rosenthal, now 70, founded his jewelry company with Pierre
Jeannet on the Place Vendme in Paris in 1978. At a Christie’s
auction in 2012, a single flower brooch set with rubies and
owned by Lily Safra brought $4.3 million.

The Met has done several exhibitions featuring jewelry by
Faberg, Tiffany and Cartier. Its jewelry-only shows have
included one in 2008 on pieces by Alexander Calder and one on
Turkmen jewelry last year.

There are products associated with just about every exhibition,
Mr. Campbell said, including gold earrings with the current
"Silla" show on the art of Korea. This is the goal of the Met’s
merchandise department, he added: “It’s a way to generate
income.”

The JAR show has so far been well attended, drawing more than
75,000 visitors since it opened. Six gallery talks about the
exhibition were canceled because the Met said the gallery was
too crowded to accommodate them.

The notion of focusing on JAR was first championed by Gary
Tinterow, head of the Met’s modern art department before he
became director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, last year.
He said that the Costume Institute shared his interest in JAR.

Mr. Rosenthal has only had two previous shows at a London
gallery in 2002 and for one day at the National Academy of
Design in 1987 but Mr. Tinterow said that JAR was Met-worthy.

“He’s the greatest jeweler working in our day,” he said, “the
equivalent of Faberg before World War I a consummate craftsman.”

“Unlike a Harry Winston or a Graff, it’s not about enormous
stones,” Mr. Tinterow added. “It’s about the artistry and the
meticulous execution.”

Mr. Tinterow also cited precedent for the merchandising, noting
that the Met sold Alexander McQueen tartan purses (along with
armadillo shoe ornaments and crystal skull paperweights) during
the 2011 McQueen retrospective and Chanel products during the
2005 Chanel show, designed with the fashion house. (Writing in
The New York Times, Michael Kimmelman called the
Chanel-sponsored show "a fawning trifle that resembles a fancy
showroom “and"absurdly uncritical.”)

The Association of Art Museum Directors, a member organization
that sets standards, said that there was nothing in its
professional practice guidelines that addresses museum
merchandising.

The one-day JAR trunk show was held in the Met’s second-floor
Balcony Lounge, usually open only to members contributing $550
or more annually. Invitees also included other museum members
and guests.

On offer were the same 10 pieces that are for sale in the Met’s
shops and two trade books on JAR ($1,400 as a set).

For visitors to the show seeking more on the
designer, a free brochure describes the gems in each object, the
Met noted, adding that other jewelry exhibitions have offered
wall texts, but that they were in multiple room gallery
settings; the JAR show is in one room.

The financier Wilbur Ross, who with his wife, Hilary Geary Ross,
is a sponsor of the JAR exhibition, said that they loaned one of
their pieces “Over the Moon” earrings with diamonds. Other
lenders who agreed to be identified include the model Stephanie
Seymour (a Mughal ring of rubies, pearls and diamonds); the
actress Gwyneth Paltrow (a string necklace of diamonds and
platinum); and the society hostess Susan Gutfreund (oak leaf and
acorn earrings).

“We’ve been buying jewelry from JAR for several years,” Mr. Ross
said. “He is an absolute genius.”

Mr. Rosenthal’s prickly selling habits are legend he famously
won’t sell to people if he doesn’t like the way his pieces look
on them and Mr. Ross said patronizing his unmarked Paris shop is
something of a challenge. "When you rap on the door, some guy
says: ‘What is it you want? Why are you here? Who sent you?’ "
Mr. Ross said. “They’re kind of particular about their
clientele. It sort of makes it fun.”

“Everything he does is literally one of a kind that adds to the
charm,” Mr. Ross said.

"There’s a little cult that has developed I call them JARians,"
Mr. Ross added. “They develop a bond with him and his objects.
People can tell that you’re wearing JAR.”


#2

The Met has a history of blurred lines when it comes to the bottom
line. Cash. I am a formally trained fine artist and them pointing
out they have sole prints of ARTWORK in the past in no way explains
this blatant affront to both art and jewelry. Had the collection
contained an example of the worlds jewelers then perhaps but one
person for profit is not what I expect from a museum. It should have
been advertised for what it was come to the Met for a Jewelry Sale
to support the museum. I do not think this gentleman no matter how
skilled can compare to an artifact like the Mask of King Tutankhamun
which I was privileged to see in person.

Just my opinion of course who am I just some fine artist who is
working to learn silversmithing and jewelry making.

Teri


#3

Hi Beth,

I read the article. Not entirely sure what I think.

First reaction is “who is this guy?” But I don’t pay attention to
that end of the world, so my ignorance of “the greatest jeweler
working in our day” is hardly surprising. I do rather take exception
to the person in the article describing him as such. I can think of
several people off the top of my head who I’d rate much higher,
based on the photos I saw in the article. The work I saw looked like
pretty generic Paris ‘high end’ jewelry. Nicely done, but nothing to
write home about. He’s making a living, and keeping his people
employed, which I call a good thing. Beyond that? Dunno.

As far as the Met goes? I’d expect more from them. At least the
pretense of a scholarly exhibition. Background info and wall
cards, at very least.

Info on the techniques, for example. Some pretense to education
beyond simply “look at the pretties!” On the practical side, they
have to keep the lights on. If a few salons for the 1%ers help them
do that, then so be it. It doesn’t make me happy, but if it keeps
the rest of the museum rolling, then I’ll give it a pass. (C’mon:
having the catalog written by a dealer? Seriously?)

I guess my real reaction to it is “meh”. Entirely predictable.

Regards,
Brian


#4

Dear Beth: Thank you for your report on the JAR show at the The Met.
Although I have not seen it yet (waiting for the crowds to diminish)
I have seen all the pre-show publicity, including photos of the
pieces etc. I wondered about how and why the show was developed, and
who has the right to declare someone as the greatest living anything
in the world. Although his work seems to be exquisitely detailed and
created, stylistically I am not sure I haven’t seen other jewelry
that I think is actually more beautiful. It still sounds like a lotof
advertising hype. Maybe I will change my mind once I have seen the
show. But for now, I know that I do not like to be presented by an
organizedeffort to convince me of something that may or may not be
valid.

Sandra
Elegant Insects Jewelry


#5

I went to the Met yesterday intending to take in both the Hildesheim
and JAR shows. But I spent so much time looking at the Medieval
goldwork that there wasn’t time left for JAR.

I will say I was startled by the price of the jumbo picture books.

I’ll be going in the new year.


#6

Before you write off Rosenthal’s work as “meh”, you should really
see his work in person. I went to the show, with flashlight &
magnifying glass in hand (the lighting was terrible), and spent 2
fabulous hours looking at his amazing creations. The photos do not
do them justice. His pav=e pieces are amazing (he’s the one that
started the all-to-common current style back in the 1970’s). I’ve
never seen such color gradations in gemstones as seen in some of his
pieces. A simple leaf turns into something magical as green turns to
a darker green, and then to browning along the edges. The quality of
his larger gemstones is unparalleled, and how he uses them is as
unique as any master jeweler in the past 100 years. I’m very sorry
that better photos were not taken - and that many of the more
interesting pieces (IMO) were not photographed for the “catalog”.
Was it a scholarly show? No, but it was a pretty comprehensive show
of his work, and I’m grateful the Met put it together for us to see.
I did not miss an opening statement, and there was a good pamphlet
that described every piece in the show by number. The work speaks
for itself - as in most of the Met’s galleries.

I don’t have any problems with the Met monetizing the exhibition.
They do it for every show they produce. As I left the JAR
exhibition, there was a tourist at the desk where the pieces
produced for the show were being sold, and they were buying 20 of
each one. The pieces were truly “meh”, but if the Met can use the
funds to keep on putting shows like this one, I for one don’t care.

regards,
Elaine


#7

There is no such thing as the best or the greatest. What is the best
flavor or the greatest color?


#8

Hi

"He's the greatest jeweler working in our day," he said, "the
equivalent of Faberg [sic] before World War I a consummate
craftsman." 

It is my understanding that he does not make any of it. He designs
it and has master jewellers make it.

To me a jeweller actually makes the pieces, designers draw pictures.

Richard


#9

Great article. Thanks for sharing it. And yes, it brings up some
definite questions. I have to admit, I’m completely on the fence
about it.


#10

JAR Show Met Museum of art

An interesting and critical review by the NY Times Art Critic. It is
not very complimentary! I hope to see it for myself next week.
Curious about other comments.

Sandra
Elegant Insects jewelry

All That Glitters (and a Lot That Shines) 'Jewels by JAR,' Joel
Arthur Rosenthal, at the Met Museum 

Anyone who visits museums has spent time looking at costly
luxury goods and status symbols cherished by the upper echelons
and ruling classes of bygone eras. The list of objects elevated
to unprecedented heights of artistry includes Japanese lacquer
boxes, Faberg eggs, French porcelain, Roentgen furniture,
bejeweled objects from the treasuries of this cathedral or that
court. Almost without exception, they dazzle the eye with
astounding craftsmanship, superb design and carefully
orchestrated material extravagance. 

But when such baubles are contemporary, when they belong to the
upper class of today, the situation becomes more fraught.
Especially with the gap between the wealthiest and everyone else
so wide, it is dicey for a major museum to celebrate the often
frivolous objects on which the rich spend their ever increasing
surplus income. Such a show must be beyond reproach in every
way: transparent in organization, impeccable in exhibition
design, illuminating in catalog and labeling and, most of all,
self-evidently excellent in the quality of the objects on
display. 

Unfortunately, the exhibition "Jewels by JAR," at the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, largely falls short in every
respect. It is one of the most superficial shows I have ever
seen at this great museum. 

"Jewels by JAR" is devoted to the work of Joel Arthur Rosenthal,
a mysterious New York-born, Harvard-educated jeweler, now 70,
known by his initials as JAR, and primarily to a privileged few.
For years, Mr. Rosenthal has catered to a handpicked clientele
from his shop in Paris, creating one-of-a-kind jewels that have
fetched as much as $4.3 million at auction. 

The "JAR" show has already generated comments. Some have looked
askance at the inevitable aprs-show gift shop, this one selling
less expensive resin earrings and such, designed specially by
JAR for the museum. (The title of one series of earrings "Tickle
Me Feather" is a good index of the level of charm.) Others have
been upset that the Met staged a trunk show of these items for
invited guests. 

Unappetizing as these tactics may be, they are nothing new. Far
more dismaying are the shortcomings of the exhibition itself.
"JAR" is not up to the Met's standards in either curatorial
framework or the material it presents. It is a show that the Met
seems to have done in hopes of attracting a broad public, and
done lazily. 

Mr. Rosenthal has been described by the Met's director, Thomas
P. Campbell, as "almost a sculptor in gems," but, as seen here,
his work is for the most part pedestrian and unimaginative, if
undeniably extravagant, more craft than art. His most frequent
design approach is representational: Repeatedly we see animals,
butterflies and all kinds of botanical subjects, especially
flowers, converted into precious metals and gems. Trompe l'oeil
is standard, with occasional forays into hyper-realism, like
large brooches depicting the heads of two sheep, a zebra and an
elephant, in agate or aluminum. When Mr. Rosenthal turns to
geometry, with spirals prevailing in numerous forms, the results
are especially generic. 

The most frequent technique is pav, the paving of surfaces with
thousands of tiny, individually set stones, which allows unusual
freedom of both form and color. It can depict the striped
irregular petals of a parrot tulip or the blushing tones of
pansies. Despite such potential for refinement, many JAR pieces
look so bulky and encrusted, they barely seem intended to be
worn, much less to adorn. 

"Jewels by JAR" does not look much like a Met show. Jane Adlin,
an associate curator in Modern and contemporary art, is cited as
the organizing curator in the exhibition's news release, but the
installation and design suggest that the subject himself had far
too much control. 

First, the exhibition is visibly unedited: It crowds more than
400 often redundant jewels quantities of pav roses, for example
into a gallery too small for them. While some of the jewels and
other small objects are alluring, others represent startling
lapses of taste: a wood box that portrays a nut tart in crude
trompe l'oeil; a relatively convincing bagel, also wood; and a
pair of large disc earrings, one of which says, "Over the,"
while the other is decorated with a crescent moon, in diamonds.
This is not an exhibition that has been carefully culled and
shaped. 

Second, the mise-en-scne is not people-friendly. With lighting
limited primarily to the many vitrines which evoke a boutique
atmosphere the gallery is unpleasantly dark, as if to discourage
close looking. (Evidently, the only previous museum show of
JAR's work, at Somerset House in London in 2002, was also dark.) 

There are no mirrors to reveal the backs of these bibelots, a
usual device in jewelry exhibitions, and no labels, except for a
seemingly photocopied booklet that is hard to read under the
circumstances. The entries, matched to numbers beside the
pieces, provide only the basics. There are no explanations of
technique; the properties or source of the gems used; stylistic
precedents or even terms. Does everyone know what a fibula
brooch is? Not I. The visitor is left in the dark in more ways
than one. 

It would have been useful to know the weight of some of these
things a pair of brooches in the form of lilac blooms, for
example to gauge the challenge of wearing them; such information
is frequently available in other museum displays of pieces
ranging from royal crowns to non-Western headdresses. And if the
JAR pieces look heavy but are generally lightweight because of
his use of aluminum, that would be even more interesting to
know. 

There are virtually no text panels providing a broader context.
It would be interesting to learn that Mr. Rosenthal once worked
for Bulgari, which is also known for floral designs, but not so
much for pav. And the catalog is not much help, either. For one
thing, it reproduces only 70 of the 400 items in the show, which
suggests that the Met was cheap or that the exhibition kept
growing after the book went to press. 

The only essay is a fawning piece by Adrian Sassoon, a London
dealer in contemporary ceramics, glass, silver and jewelry, that
nonetheless provides helpful glimpses of Mr. Rosenthal's
preferences in stones and cuts, for example, and his working
techniques and sensibility, but only glimpses. But the volume
lacks a scholarly essay by a Met curator making a case for the
importance of the work (as Ms. Adlin did for Alexander Calder's
jewelry in 2008). 

Occasionally, there are wonderful things, especially among Mr.
Rosenthal's earrings, including some handsome quatrefoil pendant
pairs, a sumptuous set based on weeping willows, and several in
which the use of stones or even the designs are deliberately
dissimilar. An especially striking mismatched pair features a
large oriental pearl for one ear and a large, unfaceted spinel
for the other. 

The plainer, smaller flower brooches (pansies, violets, wild
roses) are often arresting. Unusually spare ones based on
freesia and wild oats look appealing in photographs but are too
large, signaling a frequent scale problem. My favorite brooch is
a fairly modest one of a wave that is not relatively abstract. 

Too much of Mr. Rosenthal's jewelry lacks a sense of inherent
abstract form or wholeness. It does not settle peacefully into
itself, which makes it hard to imagine most of his efforts
resting on the body in a manner comfortable to either wearer or
observer. The possibility of discomfort is especially stark in
the bracelets whose pav flowers are held to the wrist by bent
and angled trompe l'oeil branches fashioned from platinum,
bronze or silver. 

Mr. Sassoon writes in the catalog that "Joel Rosenthal never set
out to push the boundaries of jewelry design" without returning
to this idea, except to note that the designer's penchant for
black diamonds and darkened metals has influenced others. But it
is really the Met that leaves us, and Mr. Rosenthal, hanging. We
all deserved a better presentation and a better argument for his
work.

#11
It is my understanding that he does not make any of it. He designs
it and has master jewellers make it. To me a jeweller actually
makes the pieces, designers draw pictures. 

I think the analogy to Faberg is apt. Like Faberg, Rosenthal is a
designer who runs an atelier.

And without designers’ pictures what would you have? I can tell you
what you wouldn’t have. You wouldn’t have had the work of Cartier in
the 20s & 30s, of Van Cleef in the 50s & 60s, of David Webb in the
60s & 70s, of Buccelatti, either house, and the list goes on.

In the trade we specialize: designers don’t sit at the bench;
jewellers don’t set; setters don’t make mountings; model makers don’t
work finished pieces. Lapidaries cut stone; engravers engrave;
platers plate; polishers polish.

Each of these is a specialty that takes time to master, and which
ability continually improves with practice. The owner of a shop
doesn’t want to employ a bunch of workmen who are jacks of all trades
and masters of none; this is inefficient and does not produce top
quality work. So we specialize. And this specialization leads to a
higher level of mastery for each worker and thus a higher level of
quality in the finished piece. It also makes economic sense, as the
different trades have different pay scales.

In my first real job in the trade I was working on a little ring,
and the underside of the setting needed pre-polishing before
assembly. Our shop had a part-time polisher who came in two
afternoons a week and this was not one of his days. So I went to the
polishing station to pre-polish the setting. My boss walked into the
workroom and immediately told me to stop. He explained that he was
paying me a jeweller’s wage, not a polisher’s wage, and my polishing
was a waste of time and money. He said that I should put the ring
aside and work on one of the other pieces on my bench until the
polisher could get to the setting, or, if it was essential that the
polishing be done immediately, I should call him, my boss, and he
would do the polishing.

This was an important object lesson for me in the economic
efficiencies of running a shop.

Elliot Nesterman


#12

We should not be too concerned about this. The success or failure of
contemporary crafts or artistic jewelry is not especially invested
in what the big museums or top art critics have to say about it. Many
of us, especially those who went to art colleges and bought into all
the vanity, wish the art institutions would treat us as equals. This
sort of recognition of jewelry as art is a rare event, so it is
natural that those who have been yearning for a big museum jewelry
exhibit are going to be disappointed that it is not about something
more to our own interests. I have argued for years that jewelers do
not need the approval and endorsement of the audience for painting
and fine arts to be successful.

But if the Met wants to open the door a crack, I am happy about it.

JAR, Joel Arthur Rosenthal, got a show at the Met. Good for him. I
hope more jewelers do.

Stephen Walker


Andover, NY


#13

Sandra - thanks so much for the review of the show. It was very
illuminating. Just wish I could actually SEE the show…

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
bethwicker.com


#14

I guess you never saw Jordan play Basketball. Or how can we ignore
Lalique with respect to glass? Sometimes there is a best at
something. I agree that normally things don’t have a best artist,
but for a very few crafts, youcould easily argue there may be a
best.

I’m also blown away with what Vermeer did with lighting. I have
never seenany painter that comes close to showing how light enters a
window and a room.

Rick Powell


#15

With respect to the NY Times critique of the JAR show; I’m too far
away to see the exhibit in person, and from the few photos I have
seen I am not particularly impressed by the design of the pieces
(simply not to my personal taste) though I am happy to believe that
the craftsmanship and materials may be superb.

However, I fail to see what difference the age of the pieces, or for
whom they were/are designed makes to the artistry or craftsmanship
of the pieces, as set out in the first two paras of the critique.

Whether something was made a thousand years ago or made yesterday,
if it is made with consummate skill and artistry it is beautiful and
inspiring and that’s that, with no reference to its age or who uses
it. Many jewellery techniques have scarcely changed in millennia:
only the tools with which they are made have - sometimes - changed.

Someone (I forget who) once said that top class jewellers would
rarely, if ever, be able to afford to buy their own work on the open
market.

And so what if the person who owns the pieces has more money than I

  • superb craftsmanship and materials remain the same to be admired by
    paupers or billionaires. Envy is a nasty and corrosive emotion, Mr
    NY Times critic!

Janet


#16

Elliot-You are so right about specializing in trade shops. I’ve done
my time and one thing that lead me out of the trade shop and mass
manufacturing world was that I was bored doing the same thing over
and over again. I also got severe repetitive motion injuries. Trade
shops have to be very streamlined to make a profit.

That’s why I left.

In our current biz model Tim and I do everything from fine
renderings to model making to setting, hand fabricating old school
platinum and gold pieces, engraving, enameling, setting, casting,
plating, and so on. The only thing we don’t do in house is stone
faceting and platinum and palladium castings. The plat and pd
castings we farm out to Techform. Yeah we are slower and more
expensive than a trade shop, but our clients expect us to be.

I’m still proud of the streamlined skills I developed in trade
shops. I have two speeds. Trade shop “gitt’er done” speed and slower
nit pick details custom. I find it’s useful to have both.

Everyone should have at least one special skill that sets them above
the others. Job security.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#17
Someone (I forget who) once said that top class jewellers would
rarely, if ever, be able to afford to buy their own work on the
open market.

True dat. However I don’t need to buy it. I can make my own.

Tim and I live a very modest life style. I don’t have a fancy car or
a big fancy house, but I do have very nice jewelry. Oh yeah and tools
too.

I look around at my friends of a certain age who do have fancy
houses and cars and toys and think “Hey! I’ve worked hard all my
life. Where’s my fancy stuff?” And then I go look in our shop and say
"Oh yeah. Tools".

Half the fun of this trade is the tools.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#18

Hi

my comment was not meant to taken as derogatory. It was made to
accurately delineate JAR’s position in the trade. Some of his designs
are brilliant some just meh. I do wonder how many who view the show
think JAR made the jewellery? If success is defined by price,
especially at auction then JAR is the winner among modern designers.

Going back in time however if compared to the likes of Lalique and
others of this time he does not impress, IMHO.

I would be interested to see what the public thought if their works
were put side by side, as to who was better. Especially if if they
knew one designed and one designed and made.

In the trade we specialize: designers don't sit at the bench;
jewellers don't set; setters don't make mountings; model makers
don't work finished pieces. Lapidaries cut stone; engravers
engrave; platers plate; polishers polish.

A very good point Elliot, for trade shops as well as other
factories. Specialisation is the key to success in industry. My late
father who worked for a Fortune 500 company as a thermodynamics
engineer, had a saying “If you want to know the best way to clean the
factory ask the cleaner.” This simple idiom was some thing US
industry and those who followed the model forgot in the rush to build
middle management now redundant. What a waste of time that was and
what a mess that caused.

I am often asked if I can fix watches, I send them to a watchmaker.
Do I engrave no send them to an engraver etc. people are surprised I
cannot do everything. Yet are surprised that I do make jewellery and
set stones.

Alas in Australia the trade is dying. Many jewellers buy pre fab
pieces and solder them together and then send them to the setter.

Or buy a wax and send it to the casters. Few know how to make a
piece from scratch. Where I live there is only one expert repairer, an
elderly gentleman who has not retired as no one can replace him. Such
is life.

Richard


#19

I guess you never saw Jordan play Basketball. Or…

All great for sure, but in a world with billions of humans, how can
anyone say who is the greatest? Jordan was a pro and was seen by
millions world wide, whether they followed the NBA or not. Think of
all the incredible athletes that never even try to become
professional and so are never seen, yet may be as good or better
than the Michael Jordan’s we know. Same with great singers, how many
unknown singers are better than who we hear on the radio? I remember
sitting in church one Sunday and I happened to be sitting in front
of a group of women who competed internationally in Sweet Adeline
singing competitions (a worldwide organization of women singers who
preform the musical art form of barbershop harmony). When we all got
up to sing, it was like standing in from of a group of angels, it
was literally breath-taking! I also agree that we can’t ignore the
great Lalique. But we also shouldn’t overlook the remarkable job he
did in building his business and aggressively marketing his work. How
many equally talented artists lack the ability to self promote and
so will remain forever unknown? It’s interesting to think about.

Mark


#20

I spent so much time looking at the Medieval goldwork that there
wasn’t time left for JAR.

i know this isn’t a sculpture forum but to me jewelry is carving
because all my jewelry is either carved hardwoods combined with
carved wax / silver i just wanted to put in a word to all the wax
carvers and all other carvers out there, that the “colors of the
universe”, which is chinese hardstone carving promises to be a great
exhibit, and the “vase in the shape of a bird” on the met site
proves that, link below, dp