Storage and Show Options for Artwork Jewellery

Artwork jewellery turns custom on its head. What constitutes a bit of bijou is open to interpretation.[i] Materials alternative turns into radical. The definition of wearability shifts from individual to individual.

Jewellery from the Deedie Rose Assortment, together with work by Lisa Walker, Bernhard Schobinger, Bettina Dittlmann, Karl Fritsch, Monica Cecchi, and Otto Künzli, amongst many others, displayed on Joris Laarman’s Department Bookshelf, 2010, bronze, Assortment of Deedie Rose, Promised Reward to the Dallas Museum of Artwork, photograph courtesy of Deedie Rose

A jewellery assortment is intimate in scale and has a distinct vary of costs than one consisting of sculpture or portray. This implies it could actually develop shortly. You’ll be able to put on these items in your physique but in addition retailer and show them compactly. All this and extra is why we’re right here: Jewellery artists, collectors, and curators are as distinctive as the jewellery we love. We wish to be good stewards of those objects. So let’s think about the methods we will take care of artwork jewellery whereas nonetheless having fun with the great thing about the items.

Sandy Grotta’s make-up mirror with earrings, necklaces, and ring stands by Wendy Ramshaw, photograph: Tom Grotta, courtesy of browngrotta arts

Let’s begin with the fundamentals. Conventionally, jewellery was fabricated from gold, silver, and platinum. These treasured metals share an vital key attribute: resistance to corrosion. This stability provides them the distinctive title of noble metals,[ii] the go-to for jewellery for millennia.

Noble metals are sometimes alloyed with different metals to supply completely different hues, enhance energy and ductility, and stretch restricted assets. This introduces corrosion. Alloys of silver, copper, and different metals are likely to tarnish or corrode, however correct storage helps to mitigate the inevitable.

Efharis Alepedis’s jewellery assortment, together with work by Demetra Thomloudis, Lynn Batchelder, Sofia Bjorkman, Erinn Michelle Cox, and Lore Langendries, amongst many others, 2021, Boston, MA, photograph: Efharis Alepedis

Artwork jewellery goes a step additional than steel alloys. Whereas a single piece of artwork jewellery can make the most of gold, silver, and platinum, in addition to treasured and nonprecious stones, it could actually additionally embrace different supplies. Horn, leather-based, paper, shells, plastics, textiles, wooden, and base metals like metal, copper, zinc, or aluminum—the listing of supplies utilized in artwork jewellery is countless.

So … how do you retailer these lovely creations?

The fundamentals of storage are:

It’s not finest observe to hold jewellery for lengthy intervals of time. Gravity is nobody’s pal. Finally, the thread will stretch, or a skinny chain might kink on the cling level. Whereas hanging is a well-liked technique to show jewellery for ease, visibility, and pleasure, you’ll want to select the items you cling with the long-term results of gravity in thoughts.

Air stream
Let the jewellery breathe! Whereas publicity to air causes oxidation in silver, most pure supplies wish to breathe. For silver, you should use plastic luggage handled with an oxidation inhibitor. Hold a sharpening material readily available to take away small buildups of tarnish simply. For pure supplies, permitting some air stream will hold mildew and different insidious types of degradation from taking maintain.

Keep away from moisture in any respect prices. Humidity may cause paper to mould, metal to rust, and animal disguise to melt. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from the air of a big room and desiccants take in moisture inside a small area, like a field or a drawer.

Holding your items out of extended publicity to direct daylight will assist them final. Daylight bleaches coloration from pure and artificial textiles, plastics, and most pure supplies. Worse, it hastens decay, making items brittle and frail.

The easiest way to retailer your jewellery is flat, accessible, darkish, and dry, however not sealed. Sounds straightforward, proper? For many of us, that will merely imply a jewellery field, cupboard, or closet that enables the items to relaxation flat and separate from one another. If you image a basic jewellery field with segmented trays and shallow drawers, that’s the tried-and-true resolution.

Efharis Alepedis’s jewellery assortment, together with work by Erin Michelle Cox, Lynn Batchelder, and Sharon Massey, amongst many others, 2021, Boston, MA, photograph: Efahris Alepedis

Nevertheless, relying on the scale of your assortment, it’s possible you’ll must scale up. An instance might be stackable jewellery trays in a drawer or on a closet shelf. Many jewellery collectors actively put on their jewellery and wish to discover items simply. Clear plastic packing containers and flat drawers or trays depart items seen to help in finding the proper piece to put on.

Overview previous interviews on AJF with collectors with an eye fixed towards glimpsing their jewellery storage options. Or, in case you are a member of AJF you may need the chance to go to some collectors’ properties in individual. This can allow you to see how they retailer their jewellery. It’s an inspiring technique to begin occupied with how you’d clear up your personal storage conundrums. Each collector approaches the answer otherwise, primarily based on their relationship to the items and their fashion of accumulating. The choices are countless and are as distinctive as you and your assortment of bijou.

Listed here are some storage and show prospects from AJF readers:

Show of Jera Lodge’s jewellery assortment, together with work by Betty Jager, Tanya Crane, Lindsay Locatelli, Nicolette Absil, and Ellen Wieske, amongst many others, 2020, Cochranton, PA, US, photograph: Jera Lodge – @jerarosepetal

A {custom} wall mount

Artist Jera Lodge picked up a weathered board whereas at Haystack Mountain College of Craft in Deer Isle, Maine. She used a easy wire bending method discovered from fellow artist Ellen Wieske to create a {custom} wall show for her earrings and necklaces. Lodge actively wears her items, in order that they don’t cling for too lengthy and he or she’s cautious to ensure they keep out of direct daylight.

Show of Donald Friedlich’s jewellery assortment, together with work by Anna Talbot, Lore Langendries, and John Iverson, amongst many others, 2021, Madison, WI, US, photograph: Donald Friedlich

Shadow packing containers

Donald Friedlich has amassed fairly a set of bijou via trades with different artists he meets when he attends conferences and craft reveals, and different travels. The Wisconsin-based artist shows his items in a gridded wall show utilizing shadow packing containers bought from a craft retailer. Shadow packing containers are deep framed packing containers historically made to retailer mementos. This makes them ultimate for displaying jewellery that has extra dimension. Shadow packing containers have linen or different cloth backing that’s barely padded. The padding allows you to pin items in place. Some shadow packing containers are even hinged with magnetic closures to supply frontal entry. This resolution gives a technique to defend the work from each mud and daylight. You should definitely test that the glass is UV rated.

Efharis Alepedis’s jewellery assortment, together with work by Agnes Larsson, Carlos Silva, and Jessica Strauss, amongst many others, 2021, Boston, MA, photograph: Efharis Alepedis

Show the work round your property

An simply accessible strategy is to encompass your self together with your jewellery assortment. Massachusetts-based artist Efharis Alepedis shows work all through her total house and artist studio. On a tour of her home, you’ll discover jewellery on the again of doorways, on partitions, and on each obtainable floor, artfully organized and begging to be worn. The names of artists are written on the wall in pencil. This beautiful private contact helps Alepedis bear in mind not solely the artist’s title but in addition the place to return a bit after carrying it.

Jewellery storage in plastic drawers and bins, Assortment of Deedie Rose, Promised Reward to the Dallas Museum of Artwork, photograph courtesy of Deedie Rose

Clear plastic containers

Deedie Rose,[iii] a Texas-based collector and philanthropist, makes use of sensible clear plastic lidded bins to retailer her in depth assortment in her closet. She retains them in her bed room closet, hidden behind a custom-designed headboard and lengthening into the closet. As somebody who wears items from her assortment each day, Rose needs the work to be accessible with out having to fuss with too many boundaries when she is preparing. She retains monitor of her assortment with playing cards printed with the artist’s title and different vital info.

From the gathering of Deedie Rose, brooches displayed on the perimeters of the steps (backside to high) Juliane Brandes, Handlungen (Set of seven), 2020, shellac, wooden, paint, and Hand Brooch, 2021, ebony, silver) Assortment of Deedie Rose, Promised Reward to the Dallas Museum of Artwork, photograph courtesy of Deedie Rose


Rose additionally shows work all through her house, put in in fascinating methods. Some items from her jewellery assortment are displayed within the residing areas on whimsical cabinets whereas others are playfully mounted on the staircase. These shows create fascinating conversations between her visitors and the bigger items of artwork.

Susan Beech’s jewellery assortment in a metal jewellery cupboard made by Jonathan Maxwell, 2008, metal, glass, 180.3 x 180.3 x 56.5 cm, photograph: John White

For California-based collector Susan Beech,[iv] wearability is a figuring out consider her buying selections. She wears items from her assortment recurrently. Her storage resolution consists of having furnishings created particularly to carry her jewellery. This enables the work to be displayed whereas holding it accessible for her to put on. The furnishings itself is a bit of artwork and an announcement in her lovely house as nicely.

Walnut Jewellery Chest by Joyce and Edgar Anderson within the Grotta Home, with an opened drawer containing (left to proper) necklace by Denise Wallace, two Pins by Giampaolo Babetto, and necklace by Charles Loloma, photograph: Tom Grotta, courtesy of browngrotta arts

Artist-built mounts

The late Sandra Grotta’s art-filled house, in rural New Jersey, consists of work from jewelers Charles Loloma, Wendy Ramshaw, and Gerd Rothmann, amongst many others. They’re displayed on artist-built mounts.[v] The ebook The Grotta Residence by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Structure and Craft consists of a number of images of the shows throughout the lovely constructing designed for the Grottas to stay with the gorgeous craft objects they collected over their lifetimes.

(Foreground) Wood Necklace Stand by Thomas Hucker displaying a necklace by Gerd Rothmann within the Grotta Home, (background) Wooden Bracelet Stand by Thomas Hucker, photograph: Tom Grotta, courtesy of browngrotta arts

Museum-quality shows

Conversely, Susan Cummins[vi] is well-known for not carrying the jewellery she collects. As a substitute, she had a museum-quality show constructed to showcase her in depth jewellery assortment. The elegant show opens in levels, permitting the work to be selectively displayed or expansively uncovered. She updates the show recurrently to characteristic completely different items, so every go to to her house reveals new work to understand.

Rotasa Assortment modular show within the entrance corridor of Susan Cummins’s house, together with work by Lisa Gralnich, Dorothea Prühl, and Manfred Bischoff, photograph: Susan Cummins

These are just some methods jewellery lovers stay with their jewellery collections. The probabilities are countless, as different as home-decorating approaches and jewellery style. Artwork Jewellery Discussion board needs to see the way you’ve solved storing your lovely amalgamations—ship pictures to this hyperlink!

Efharis Alepedis’s jewellery assortment consists of work by Unk Kraus, 2021, Boston, MA, photograph: Efharis Alepedis

RELATED: Learn one other article by Rebekah Frank on the significance of cataloguing and archiving your artwork jewellery assortment, in addition to some methods to start this vital course of, right here. And for a tutorial have a look at the difficulties of artwork jewellery conservation,
please see the 2018 AJF article by Astrid Ubbink, The Issues of Conservation.





[v] See different examples right here:


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