Archive for 2019

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Member Achievements – March 2019

Brigitte Martin 2019Congratulations to Brigitte Martin, SNAG member and former SNAG Board President, for being named as the new Executive Director at the Society of Arts + Crafts in Boston.

Pam RobinsonPam Robinson is the recipient of the 2019 SNAG Volunteer Recognition Award. She will be recognized for her service to SNAG at the Membership Meeting at the SNAG conference in Chicago.

Kim NogueiraKim Nogueira will be at the Museum of Arts and Design’s upcoming show LOOT: MAD About Jewelry in April 2019 with her enameled jewelry. Kim is from a small Caribbean island and is looking forward to meeting other makers and customers. Other SNAG members at LOOT are Tara Locklear and Brooke Marks-Swanson.

Art of Metalsmithing ExposedNineteen SNAG members are included in the exhibition The Art of Metalsmithing Exposed at Artlink Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN, May 17-June 21, 2019. Betty Helen Longhi, Cynthia Eid, David Barnhill, Carol Warner, Alison Antelman, Cyd Rowley, David Huang, Harlan W. Butt, Ana M. Lopez, Michael B. Hays, Ruth Laug, Steve Shelby, Logan Woodle, Randy Stromsoe, Jack da Silva, Julie Sanford, Genevieve E. Flynn, Di-Ann Pitts Hand, and Tom Muir.

Harris - BetteridgeWesley Harris met with Canadian silversmith Lois Etherington Betteridge last fall. Lois and her husband, Keith, visited Wesley’s Mentor & Metalsmith exhibit when it was on display at the Wellington County Museum & Archives near Fergus, Ontario. This photo captured the moment.


SNAG would like to take this opportunity to recognize our Corporate Members for their support: Gemological Institute of America, Halstead, and Steven Jacob, Inc.

GIA_Logo_CMYK Halstead Steven Jacob Inc

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2019 SNAG Lifetime Achievement Award, James Wallace

SNAG’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is James Wallace.

James Wallace Repair DaysThe Lifetime Achievement Award is SNAG’s highest honor and is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of metalsmithing.

James Wallace is a practicing metalsmith and former Founding Director of the Metal Museum, formerly known as the National Ornamental Metals Museum. His contributions to the field of contemporary crafts both as a maker in high regard and as a museum professional have advanced the understanding and appreciation of metalwork and metalsmiths for over 30 years.

Having received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Western State College of Colorado with emphases in Art, English and Geology, he later began his artistic career as an MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. During his studies, he researched pattern welded damascus steel. This research was published in a chapter written for Dona Meilach’s 1977 book Decorative and Sculptural Ironwork. His Master of Fine Arts degree led to a career that produced stunning examples of architectural ironwork.


Jim Wallace dedicated his professional career to the advancement of the field of metalsmithing through his role as artist, teacher, mentor and advocate. But it was in his role as founder and director of the Metal Museum that his vision played such an important part in the evolution of our field. Through his decades of selfless toil and perseverance, Jim built from scratch the only U.S. museum of its kind focused exclusively on metalwork. Through his grit and personal sacrifice, the museum has grown to a world-class institution with exhibitions, collections, a library and research facility, foundry facilities, conservation and educational programs. Because of Jim’s vision, the museum expands opportunities for young metalsmiths through internships, residencies and apprenticeships; it preserves the history of metalsmithing and educates the public about metalsmithing as an art form. In this way, Jim’s contributions have reached the broadest spectrum of our artistic “metals” community and beyond. His contributions have impacted every sub-discipline of our broader field – from blacksmiths to art jewelers, from students to masters, from makers to collectors to writers, researchers, and so on.

     – Lifetime Achievement Committee

The 2019 SNAG conference, to be held in Chicago, will be dedicated to James. He will be given his award at the opening of the conference on May 23rd. Please join us in congratulating him.

above image: Fireplace Stand by James Wallace

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SNAG Celebrates: Tabitha Ott

SNAG Celebrates

SNAG is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019 and is honoring its membership by highlighting different artists on the SNAG website.

Our first artist is Tabitha Ott.

Tabitha Ott

Introduce yourself (background, education, preferred mediums/styles, etc.)
I received my MFA in Jewelry/Metals from Kent State University in 2012 and my BFA in Sculpture: Jewelry/Metals from Winthrop University in 2008. Originally from Orangeburg, I now reside in Cayce, SC. Since 2014 I have been teaching full time in the Department of Art at Claflin University. My studio has been located at Tapp’s Arts Center in downtown Columbia, SC for the past two and a half years. I create contemporary jewelry and sculpture from post-consumer plastic along with various metals!  I use plastic in my work because it is a common material we are all familiar with, from small children to the elderly. It has become such a large part of our lives and it is easily recognizable and relatable. No matter what age, race, gender, or class, we have all engaged with plastic at some point. I believe this makes my work approachable for anyone.

Tabitha Ott_Fresh Plastic

A still from Ott’s solo art and fashion show “Fresh Plastic” at Tapp’s Arts Center, 2017

What are your goals in creating the work that you do? Are there any concepts you are particularly interested in?

My work is centered around concepts of recycling, environmental conservation, fun, childlike wonder, and humor. With each piece I make, I am aiming to transform the objects or materials into something different, often unrecognizable. I really enjoy the process of manipulating plastic and incorporating it with metal. I am very interested in the contrast created as a result of placing plastic (which has little or no value) next to a valued material (such as metal).  With many plastics functioning as disposable, they are often used only once, but can last hundreds of years before decomposition occurs. I aim to challenge and reconfigure viewer stereotypes concerning the usage, value, and importance of materials such as plastic.

What does your work mean to you? Why create these objects?
My work is what fulfills me. I have had an interest in Art/Craft/Design for as long as I can remember. Communicating what my imagination comes up with just feels so natural and it’s something I must do. I create these objects in order to have an impact. We all want to be successful in life, and I have come to the conclusion that to me, success equals impact. I hope that my work will inspire the viewer to: 1. Reduce the amount of plastic they use 2. Reuse what plastic they must have 3. Recycle the plastic they are finished using 4. Repurpose the plastic that cannot be recycled 5. Question disposable culture 6. Consider plastic valuable

How and when did you arrive at your membership with SNAG?
I first joined SNAG in 2007 as recommended by Courtney Starrett, my undergraduate professor at the time. I went to my first conference in 2008 (Savannah) and after that experience, I knew that SNAG was something that I wanted to be a part of indefinitely. I have attended every conference since then and I’m still a member! I LOVE SNAG!

How have you witnessed SNAG (and metalsmithing in general) evolve since first beginning your membership?
Well for one, new technologies have really played a big part in the evolution of the field. There is a greater range in concept as well as formal aspects of the work being produced by members. Makers are addressing social issues, using a wider range of materials, and even creating work that blurs the boundaries of craft, design, and fine art. I think that SNAG as a whole is poised to become more diverse in the coming years. I am optimistic that we will see a greater representation of minorities in our organization in the future!

What are your plans for the future? Is there anything specific that you hope to accomplish or achieve in 2019?
2018 was a very busy year for me. I think I said “yes” to every opportunity thrown my way. In 2019 I would like to be more intentional with my decisions and spend more time working towards concentrated opportunities. I plan to continue growing my studio practice and creating work that challenges material stereotypes. I would also like to have a solo gallery exhibition before the end of 2019. In addition, increasing my online presence is of great interest to me this year.

Tabitha Ott_work

Examples of Ott’s repurposed plastic jewelry.

To learn more about Tabitha and her work, visit

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Register Now for the 2019 SNAG Conference

Society of North American Goldsmith’s 48th Annual Conference – The Loop: Coming Full Circle
May 22nd – May 25th, 2019
The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL


Register by March 7th for early bird rates! Online registration closes April 25th.

SNAG is celebrating 50 years as an organization. To talk about where we are going, we must talk about where we have have been. SNAG’s 48th Annual Conference, The Loop: Coming Full Circle will celebrate SNAG’s first 50 years by focusing on the history of our field and SNAG’s vital place within that history. Along with presentations that look backward to explore significant moments and concepts in our history, both personal and collective, we will emphasize space for critical discourse, concepts/ideas, and technical presentations that speak to current questions and issues that exist in the field today.

SNAG is delighted to announce that noted curator, educator and writer Namita G. Wiggers will be opening our 2019 conference with a Keynote presentation entitled “Bending the Notes” that synthesizes histories of jewelry and craft in North America in a broader socio-cultural narrative that includes those who make and the work they make in conversation with those who write, curate, and sell.

Learn more about all of the activities that will take place at the 2019 conference and register today!

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“A View From the Jeweler’s Bench”

A View from the Jeweler's Bench_Nixon_CuratorA View From the Jeweler’s Bench: Ancient Treasures, Contemporary Statements runs February 14-July 7, 2019 at Bard Graduate Center Gallery, Manhattan, NY. This exhibition is curated by Sasha Nixon, who received SNAG’s 2017 Emerging Curators Grant. Traditional and current processes employed by jewelers will be displayed alongside contemporary and historical jewels and artifacts. Learn more