How could we forget Marjorie Schick. She took jewelry to another level and paved the way for contemporary jewelry today.
Bill Youmans is a Chicago filmmaker and Marjorie’s cousin. After Marjorie’s passing in December of 2017, he and Marjorie’s son Rob and husband Jim started a film for her memorial which was held In June of 2018.
That film is the basis for a much more inclusive film on Marjorie’s talent and life. “For the memorial we focused on the art but ended up leaving so much more on the cutting room floor. At the memorial we were able to interview people that we weren’t able to contact before. We wanted to come to [the] SNAG [conference] that year but the timing was bad considering the date of the memorial. Marjorie loved SNAG. It gave her a chance to share ideas with her peers, be inspired, be in her element. She loved the pin swap.”
To complete her story they are interviewing curators at the V&A Museum, RTA Galleries in Amsterdam, her publisher in Germany and several others. But her story would not be complete without the voices of her friends and colleagues at SNAG. They will be doing interviews at the 2019 SNAG conference in Chicago on Wednesday, May 22nd between noon and 6:00pm. They would love to hear your stories of Marjorie and your connection to her. If you would like to participate, email Bill to set up a time. If you are not available on May 22nd but would like to participate please contact Bill and he’ll see what arrangements could be made. They are also looking for any photos, videos, etc. that you might have of Marjorie at previous SNAG conferences. Those can be uploaded here.
Thanks in advance to all of those who would like to be a part of the Marjorie Schick story.
We are sorry to hear that former SNAG member Elise Winters passed away on January 1, 2019 after a long struggle with cancer. Winters, recognized as one of the nation’s leading polymer artists and jewelry designers, grew up in Rochester, New York. Her formal education includes an initial arts degree from Syracuse University, and advanced degrees from Montclair and the New School Universities.
Her life as an art professional began in the 1970s with work as a potter and then turned to photography. Time spent in Japan allowed her to enrich her understanding of both ceramics and sumi-e brush painting. The Japanese influence, in both its reverence for nature and its respect for subtlety of design, has informed her work with luminous polymer clay jewelry.
Winters’ work can be found in the permanent collections of 6 major museums. She and her work have been featured in more than a dozen of the most widely selling books on polymer art and in numerous arts magazines, the most recent being the Oct/Nov 2011 issue of American Craft magazine. and the June 2012 issue of Metalsmith magazine. An artist profile also appears in the Spring 2009 issue of Ornament magazine.
Information and images taken from www.elisewinters.com ; photo of artist by Barbara Bordnick.
Long-time SNAG member Nancy Monkman passed away on October 2, 2018. Nancy served as the editor of SNAG News for over a decade until August 2009. Her excellent work on the newsletter while it was still a printed publication helped all of us become more informed and appreciative of what was going on with SNAG and its members.
Nancy was also a founding member of the Metal Art Society of Southern California and a member of Northern California Enamel Guild.
There will be a celebration of her life on November 3, 2018 in Pasadena, CA. SNAG members who are interested in attending can contact SNAG for more information.
On June 27, 2018, Marianne Unger-de Boer passed away at home in Bussum, the Netherlands, after a rich, yet too-short life. Marjan was 72 years old. As she liked to remind her audiences in lectures, she was born in February 1946, exactly nine months after the liberation of the Netherlands in May 1945. People who knew her will immediately recall her voice, way of speaking, and grinning laugh when she related this fact. Most people today will know her as “the” jewelry specialist, but she was much more than that. In fact, she engaged with the full breadth of design and likewise worked in all design sectors.
The full homage to Marjan, written by Liesbeth Den Besten, can be found on the Art Jewelry Forum website.
Thank you to Art Jewelry forum for sharing this article with the SNAG community.
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