Wednesday, October 9, 2013


It has become an annual tradition for us to visit LOOT, the jewelers' exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD). When you visit a museum, don't you often wish just ONE piece were for sale? (We do this all the time, as you know. We ask each other "If you could buy just one piece, which one would it be?") What's great about LOOT is that everything IS for sale! The show is vetted, with an international list of exhibitors.  They each seem to be selected to bring something unique to the show, so you won't find multiple goldsmiths or silversmiths.   LOOT thrives on a wide variety of materials, including wood, plastic, pencils (yes, pencils!), leather, sea glass, felt, beads and rubber.  There was something breathtaking for everyone.

Before we continue, we have to take a moment to say we did it again.  We forgot to take a single photograph of ourselves, so many, many thanks to Danielle Gori-Montanelli for the photo above.  The photo below was shot by Bruno Alacoque, the official LOOT photographer.

The wonderful carved grey felt necklace on display in the photo above appears on this lovely woman in the photo below. (Alas, when other people take photos of us, they sometimes aren't as crisp and in focus as we'd like ...)

Here's Danielle wearing one of her latest designs, a collar of sliced apples in felt.  The shading on the apples is wonderful!  (Wait till you see the sliced pears!)  You've seen us wear her work before in numerous previous posts, and we came back for more. (That's Valerie in the mirror - sort of a two-for-one!)

Jean is Instagramming everything these days.  Here's a closeup of the sliced apples.

We were surprised and delighted to discover that Monies had a booth.  We haven't seen them for AGES and are both big fans from way back.  Valerie tries on a variety of Monies jewelry: wooden Monies earrings,  a wooden bracelet and a bracelet of horn (we think) and multiple strands of waxed cord.  Oh, YUM!  Valerie's red ring has her MAD admission sticker on it, and the back of one hand has a list of about ten don't forgets. (Jean would like to point out that although Valerie has finally gotten a smart phone, she hasn't learned how to do anything except answer it.  One day, she may hopefully master the notebook app so she can record her "to do" list electronically instead of in ink on the back of her hand.  Valerie responds: One challenge at a time.  Today, the five pound black weight on her leg; tomorrow, the world.)

Jean really loved this lucite neck plate woven together with strips of leather. (In our game of "what would you pick?", this was her selection.)

The room was full of bejeweled jewelers.  We loved this woman's necklace.

Milena Zu, who is based in Bali, makes mesh jewelry which fashioned by craftsmen on the island. To see more of her work, go to

Yoko Shimizu's designs of resin, oxidized silver and gold were executed in such deeply saturated colors as royal blue and crimson.

Fabian Ifires' medium was really different.  He deals in leather, and comes from a background in saddlery, so we're talking about infinitely smoooooooth, soft material, buffed and polished so that you would almost expect to see your reflection.  Fabien wears one of his own products; Valerie's wrist models a bracelet that could best be described as a miniature mohawk for the wrist.  Heavenly workmanship - beautiful stitching!  (The idea was to show the black against the white, not to appear to be punching Fabian.) To view more of his work, go to

Delphine (left) was as gorgeous and as classic as her jewelry.

Claire Kahn shows her crocheted beadwork at Patina Gallery in Santa Fe. Check it out at

Christine J. Brandt designs in sterling silver and in wood and semi-precious stones. All three of us are modeling her gorgeous creations. (Double click for a better view.) See more at

Jenna Pierson fashioned this very attractive necklace out of crushed bottle caps. See other pieces of her work at

Right next to Jenna was Samantha Nania. It was one of the last booths we got to view together because the closing bell was about to sound. Valerie donned Samantha's sea glass-looking breastplate.  That would look drop dead gorgeous on an all-black top.  Or on a strapless dress.  Jean holds her wooden bracelet with metal haloes. Do check out Samantha's work at

We saw sooo many interesting people. This woman was visiting from Ontario. We arrived at 7:30 PM, and thought we'd have more than enough time to see everything by the 9 PM closing time. No such luck! We got so focused on all the work that loads of interesting people escaped our cameras.

Fortunately, Danielle sent us a link to flickr photos of LOOT. Some great photos of opening night (look for Iris Apfel at Danielle's booth), as well as the days that followed. There are two wonderful redheads for you to find, and one woman with astonishing long gray hair. HERE's the link.

At the top of the stairs as we were exiting was this Heaven Tanudiredja Body Jewel 2012 from Belgium.  The color and texture were arresting.

Who would we be if we didn't stop for cocktails afterward?  On the top floor of the Museum of Arts and Design is Robert's which, by the by, has great views.

We met Karen and Melanie who stopped at our table to chat. Again, the photos were taken of us, not by us, with Jean's iphone, so our apologies for the quality of the images.

Here's a look at some of the wonderful exhibitors' images on MAD's website.

 Violane Ulmer.

Margareta Niel.

Janka Juhos.

Eliana Vernier.

Danielle Gori-Montanelli.

Cecile Bertrand.

Begona Rentero.

Arek Wolsky.

Christophe Tissot.

Camilla Teglio.

We stopped for one last look at all of the amazing designs before we headed to Robert. We owe this photo to Danielle, too. Thank goodness somebody had our back!

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We just want to give a shout out to the 2013 MacArthur Fellows (more casually known as the winners of the MacArthur Genius Awards). Fully one third of the winners are women of a certain age. WELL DONE, EVERYONE! And especially you, WOACA.


  1. All of the jewelry looks amazing! I especially like the rainbow necklace in the second picture.

  2. Oh God, it would be soooo devastating to my bank account if I was ever able to attend this!! The Monie creations, the carved felt necklace, the Danielle Gori-Montanelli flowered collar, the leather mohawk bracelet...SWOON!

  3. I adore the jewelry and the photos of interesting people, but what really caught my attention? Your hats!

  4. Just absolutely fabulous. There isn't enough praise for these astoundingly talented artists! xxoo

  5. Thank you SO MUCH for the photos of the LOOT show! It looks so amazing!! I would be drooling over every single exhibit. (Guess it's a good thing I didn't come.)

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary of

  6. Happily stumbled upon your blog and am bonkers for all the bold baubles!