From the Field
Written by Harriete Estel Berman
It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Marjorie Schick. This is a devastating loss to the craft and metal arts community. My memories of Marjorie are, in every sense, colorful. I’m sure that many others would agree. She wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
You might remember Marjorie from her bold and colorful attire with bright fuchsia hair or gigantic jewelry. While it might seem superficial to mention this first, Marjorie’s appearance was simply her first statement. When she walked into a room, she and her artwork were seen.
At right: Marjorie Schick, Rainbow Riot, necklace and wall relief; necklace: 2008, wood, waxed linen, paint; wall relief: 2011, wood, paint; photo: Gary Pollmiller
The jewelry and objects Marjorie created were statements of visually large proportions. The display of the jewelry was often integral to the work, not unlike the person herself. Placing Schick jewelry in the average display case was out of the question. It could not be contained within normal definitions or expectations for jewelry, either literally or figuratively.
Marjorie did not follow conventions or fashion or dictates of shifting trends. She followed her own singular path. Nothing was quickly thrown together or thoughtless. Her creative expressions of paper mache or fabric were painted, and painted over and over again with layers of nuance. The color palette was developed with an eye for combinations, hues, and tones that could not be rushed.
Each year for the SNAG conference, Marjorie would create a small group of about 12 “pins” to give away. If you have one of those pins, you will always know that it came from Marjorie Schick. Each year they were different, reinvented, and always memorable. A photo of a few of these pins accompanies this post to share them again with everyone.
Marjorie represents a piece of history within the jewelry metal arts community. She was a font of knowledge going back to the 1970s. She traveled the world and exhibited her work internationally. A few years ago I was wearing a piece of jewelry that my parents had found in an East Coast antique store. They knew that I would love it, and I did, but when Marjorie saw it, she identified it as an example of Caroline Broadhead’s production work from the 1980s.
What happens when we lose a person that is such a significant presence in jewelry history? We have lost much. You can read an Oral History Interview with Marjorie Schick or listen to an audio excerpt with Tacey A. Rosolowski in the Smithsonian Archives. Another option is to purchase her book The Jewelry of Marjorie Schick which contains an entire Oeuvre Catalog of everything she ever made. I recommend doing both.
Thank goodness that these resources exist, but it won’t be the same going forward without Marjorie.
Marjorie you will be missed.
Marjorie Schick, Spiraling Over the Line, 2008; photo: Gary Pollmiller
We regret to announce the passing of Ron Ho on September 7, 2017. Ho was a long-time SNAG member. He was a world-renowned jewelry artist and celebrated teacher. His work is in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Tacoma Art Museum. An oral history of Ho’s life is at the Smithsonian Institution.
In 2006, the Bellevue Arts Museum honored Ho by presenting 51 of his pieces in the exhibition and catalog Dim Sum at the On-On Tea Room – The Jewelry of Ron Ho.
Among other awards, Northwest Designer Craftsmen named him a Lifetime Award Member in 2006 and in 2007 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Seattle Metals Guild. In 2010 Ho was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Craft Council.
Read more about Ho’s life in the Seattle Times.
Northwest Designer Craftsmen are producing a video about Ho for their Living Treasures Project.
Jewelry of Ideas: Gifts from the Susan Grant Lewin Collection
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
2 East 91st Street, New York, NY
Reception and Collectors’ Conversation
November 16, 2017
Opening reception, exhibition viewing, and book signing with collector Susan Grant Lewin and contemporary jewelry scholar Ursula Ilse Neuman, who will discuss works on view. View full event details & purchase tickets.
November 17, 2017
Explore the world of contemporary jewelry design with esteemed scholars and renowned jewelers during this day-long symposium highlighting the exhibition. Hear from: Jamie Bennett, Doug Bucci, Helen Drutt, Iris Eichenberg, Thomas Gentille, Bruce Metcalf, Myra Mimlitsch-Gray, Lindsay Pollock, and Kiff Slemmons. View full event details & purchase tickets.
Celebrating a major gift of contemporary jewelry from Susan Grant Lewin to Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the exhibition features nearly 150 objects by over 100 modern and contemporary jewelry designers and makers from eighteen countries, from the late 1940s to the present. Lewin, a preeminent collector in the field, has acquired many significant and unique pieces during forty-plus years of collecting. These works were chosen as superb examples of the creators’ explorations of ornament and idea, social commentary and communication, and for their innovative use of materials, approaches to design process, and technique.
Jewelry of Ideas: Gifts from the Susan Grant Lewin Collection is made possible in part by the Rotasa Fund, Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), Gallery Loupe, Sienna Patti, William P. Short III, in memory of Nancy Jean Fulop Short, Helen W. Drutt English, Kim and Al Eiber and Ornamentum Gallery.
Featured Image: Tiara, Bracelets and X-Form Brooch from the Candy Wear Series (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), 1999-2001; Daniel Jocz (American, b. 1943); Electroformed, assembled and soldered silver covered in electrostatically applied rayon flocking bonded with adhesive; magnets (clasps); The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum,2016-34-49/51; Photo: Matt Flynn © Smithsonian Institution
Lee Marshall, of Santa Cruz, CA passed away June 25, 2017. Marshall, a former SNAG member, was the founder of both Bonny Doon Engineering and Knew Concepts. Bonny Doon Engineering developed a series of hydraulic presses and tooling for shaping and forming jewelry. Knew Concepts sells saws designed by Marshall.
A full account of Marshall’s remarkable life can be found here.