Sunday, October 12, 2014

Museum of Arts and Design's LOOT Exhibition

Here we are at at the Museum of Arts and Design's annual LOOT show, where a broad spectrum of jewelry designers display and sell an unimaginable variety of baubles in everything from plastic to gold.  We have both come adorned for the occasion.

On her hat, Jean is wearing a tenderly cut felt radish by Danielle Gori-Montanelli.  But wait!  What's that she's pointing to?  Why it's….

It's US!  On a brooch!  And here are the designers, David and Roberta Williamson, both wearing their own work.  We can't tell you how tickled we were to see ourselves immortalized!  Read more about the Williamsons here, and see them on PBS's Craft in America.  Their work can have a surrealist quality to it, with many pieces looking as though they are the product of someone's dreams.  Like several other LOOT participants, the Williamsons teach as well as create.  Come see them at the Philadelphia Museum's Craft Show November 6-9, 2014.  Long-time readers know this show is the site of our annual pilgrimage.

After we got over our shock, we had to go over to Danielle's counter. Really sharp-eyed readers might recognize Danielle from last week's Tokyo Sunset post, showing Valerie and Danielle both wearing Heydari's sunset dress for Artful Home.  For a laugh, Valerie wore the dress for Danielle, never imagining they would turn out to be wearing the same dress.  Notice how they manage not to scratch each other's eyes out.  (Is it because Jean is separating them?)  In this photo, we're all wearing one of Danielle's designs.  (You'll get a better look at Valerie's felt collar later.)  Oh, and in case you were going to ask, Danielle is wearing Trippen shoes.

Here is a close-up of the extraordinary collar Danielle wore.  Hundreds of colored pencils, all and crafted and made of felt.

Virginia Escobar, from Colombia, who originally trained as a lawyer, made everything she's wearing.  You can't tell in the light, but the two necklaces are suede-backed eggshell, with wonderful metal hinges.

To make up for the lighting, here is a photo from the internet to give you an idea what cracked eggshell looks like.

We weren't kidding when we said unimaginable variety.  Burcu Sulek, from Turkey, crafts jewelry out of sponges she paints.  Check out her website to see her delicate sponge tiara.  Her shirt with leather embellishments is by a Turkish designer.

We were delighted to meet Bryna Pomp, LOOT's curator, traded one amazing piece for another during the course of the show.  (Talk about perks of the job!)

Alejandra Solar displayed one handsome work after another.  The cuff on the left is made of painted corn husk, and hand stitched closed while the husk is still wet.  Below it is a brooch featuring a torn piece of corn husk, delicately held down to its frame with small strategically placed silver hooks.  To the right of that are several slabs of whetstone on a metal ground.  The slabs are imprinted with a beetle.  Insect imprints characterize a number of her works.  At the right is a whetstone necklace of slabs punctuated by dots, many of which have insect imprints.

The bulk of Emiko Suo's work was in cork, but she has recently taken off in a new direction, showing hammered and painted metal work.  Here she shows two cuffs, one with rippling designs she hammered in; another with arrow-like marks.  The unusual combination of rainbow colors on metal is almost hypnotic.

Linda van Niekirk, originally from South Africa, and now in Tasmania, specialized in pairing sterling with lightweight natural wood.  Here she wears one of her neckpieces and one of her rings.  Every jeweler was a fabulous showcase for his or her own work.

Three new Pratt graduates shared a counter.  This earring in silver and resin, which complements both sides of the ear, is the work of Lauren Pineda.

Valerie fell in love with Martacarmela Sotelo's armlets of knitted metal.  All of the jewelers have fascinating biographies worth reading.  Among other things, Martacarmela's biography mentions that Sotelo, born in Mexico, originally studied architecture, and then went on to study at Central St. Martin's in London.  Central St. Martin's has an amazing list of graduates.  (Here is a closer look at Danielle's felt collar.  Note that some of the cones have babies growing out of them.)

Below, Dominique Labordery wears two of her creations.  The red ring consists of a circle and a square, either of which can be worn while the other serves as the 'jewel'; or they can both be worn simultaneously on two fingers.

Helen Noakes is very serious about the quality of her work, but injects it all with an irrepressible sense of humor.  This silver necklace features miniature circus performers encased in resin.  Double click for a better look at the stilt walker, the fire eater, the strong man, the tightrope walker and others, not to mention the sterling captions reading, for example, GASP AT HIGHWIRE HIJINKS.  Noakes didn't bring her nuns-in-resin jewelry, although she told us they sell well at a shop near the Vatican!

Grainne Morton, who hails from Edinburgh, Scotland, is wearing one of her collage necklaces.  She also does earrings, rings and bracelets.

German jeweler Beate Pfefferkorn's Elementaris designs do not take porcelain for embellishment but as a basic and shape-giving element. She does a series of necklaces that combine matte and shiny rolled porcelain icicles that are almost weightless. They warm with the wearer's body temperature but don't become uncomfortable. During movement, the tiny parts produce soft sounds.

Allesandra Calvani combines geometric laser-cut methacrylates with silver chains to create colorful earrings, bracelets and necklaces.

German jeweler Anke Hennig works in fiber, producing feather-weight confections like this wonderful necklace.

Dutch jeweler Annemieke Broenink creates fisherman's nets of rubber jewels in necklaces and scarves that are stretchy and colorful. She is shown wearing several of her necklaces at once, with a looped bracelet.

Monies booth is chock-a-block filled with amazing statement pieces like these two necklaces: the top is composed of large black carved chain links and the bottom looks like pointed plexiglass icicles.  We wanted everything!  The Danish jewelry company, founded by Gerda and Nikolai Monies 40 years ago, produces amazing pieces out of seeds, wood, copper, cow horn, cow bone, amber, coral, coconut, shell, mammoth and petrified wood.

Karen Konzuk of Canada works in concrete, forming it into color-saturated, textured orbs and attaching them to stainless steel or gold necklaces and bracelets.

Scottish jeweler Naomi McIntosh works in perspex and wood, with articulated, carved pieces of varying widths, looking almost fibrous.  We saw Bryna Pomp sporting one of her pieces during the show.

Alma Godole of Atelier Godole weaves pearls into necklaces and bracelets.

We got to see jewelry created on a 3-D printer by Selvaggia Armani for Bijouets like these red nylon rings. Bright blue, red and black necklaces, rings and cuff bracelets are lightweight, comfortable and colorful.

Spanish designers Enric and Roc Majoral produce interesting creations of hammered sterling silver and gold.

British jewelry designer Sarah King's collection included lightweight, perforated resin necklaces, bracelets and earrings. She creates sculptural, ethical jewelry in bioresin, silver and gold.

Inni Parnanen from Helsinki, Finland, works in wood and steel mesh to produce lightweight, wearable wooden brooches, necklaces and breastplates like this one.

Misun Wan, born in Korea and now living in Scotland, works in sterling silver to produce delicate necklaces, pins, bracelets and earrings of faceted discs that almost resemble fish scales.

We regret we couldn't show every single exhibitor due to space reasons.

So, here are links to additional artists whom we think you'll like:  Antonelli Giomarelli; Kristina Kitchener; Maria Carelli; Lisa Lee and Ase-Marit Thorbjornsrud.  For a real treat, click on them and check out their amazing creations.  Do it. You'll thank us.

PEOPLE:  LOOT is a terrific people-watching opportunity.  Case in point: these two dapper gents dressed for the occasion.  

This silver fox cracked us up. We thought she looked terrific and asked to photograph her for our blog. Her hysterial advice: Say "safe sex" instead of "cheese" when posing for the camera.

Jewelry designer Diana Gabriel and Debra Rapoport also made the scene. Debra was teaching a class at MAD that evening and dropped in afterward before heading to another opening downtown.

Debra's sister, Cydonia Boonshaft, got our award for the best coat. Both of us loved her orange and black plaid number. That her friend was color-coordinated was a bonus.

We loved this stylish guest's approach to dressing up but staying casual.  The little details like the scarf at the neck, the snaps at the ankles of her slacks and her dressed up lace up shoes all added up to a wonderful outfit.  Like so many of the other attendees, her own jewelry was terrific.  Her beautifully coordinated jewelry -- earrings, necklace, bracelets -- was the perfect counterpoint to her outfit.

We met Rebecca Shaykin and her mom, who were both wearing felt necklaces from Danielle Gori-Montanelli. Rebecca is the Leon Levy assistant curator at the Jewish Museum.

Would you like to know about future exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design?  Click here and look in the bottom right hand corner for join our email list.  Click on that and fill in the form.  The Museum has pay-what-you-will admission on both Thursdays and Fridays, Thursdays sponsored by the Museum itself; Fridays sponsored by KLM.  Enjoy!  We always do.


  1. Thank you for an excellent tour of the exhibit. Love seeing the artists as much as the shoppers.

  2. Sadly, I will never be able to go to this show because I would want ALL THE THINGS!!! Thanks for providing the drool-inducing tour of the exhibits.