Storage and Show Options for Up to date Jewellery

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

Efharis Alepedis’s jewellery assortment, together with work by Iris Bodemer, Mirjam Hiller, Philip Sajet, Klaus Burgel, Jiro Kamata, Flora Vagi, Kim Buck, Sophie Hanagarth, and Etsuko Sonobe, amongst many others, 2021, Boston, MA, picture: Efharis Alepedis

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 rapidly. 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 take into account the methods we are able to look after 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, picture: 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 offers them the distinctive title of noble metals,[ii] the go-to for jewellery for millennia.

Noble metals are sometimes alloyed with different metals to provide totally different hues, enhance energy and ductility, and stretch restricted sources. This introduces corrosion. Alloys of silver, copper, and different metals are inclined 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, picture: 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 checklist of supplies utilized in artwork jewellery is infinite.

So … how do you retailer these lovely creations?

The fundamentals of storage are:

It’s not greatest observe to hold jewellery for lengthy durations of time. Gravity is nobody’s good friend. Ultimately, the thread will stretch, or a skinny chain could kink on the dangle level. Whereas hanging is a well-liked method to show jewellery for ease, visibility, and delight, make sure to select the items you dangle with the long-term results of gravity in thoughts.

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

Keep away from moisture in any respect prices. Humidity could cause paper to mildew, metal to rust, and animal conceal to melt. Dehumidifiers take away moisture from the air of a giant room and desiccants take up moisture inside a small area, like a field or a drawer.

Maintaining your items out of extended publicity to direct daylight will assist them final. Daylight bleaches colour 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 may merely imply a jewellery field, cupboard, or closet that permits the items to relaxation flat and separate from one another. Whenever you image a traditional jewellery field with segmented trays and shallow drawers, that’s the tried-and-true answer.

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

Nonetheless, relying on the scale of your assortment, chances are you’ll must scale up. An instance may very well 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 bins and flat drawers or trays depart items seen to assist in finding the proper piece to put on.

Overview previous interviews on AJF with collectors with a watch 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 may allow you to see how they retailer their jewellery. It’s an inspiring method to begin fascinated by how you’ll clear up your individual storage conundrums. Each collector approaches the answer in a different way, primarily based on their relationship to the items and their model of accumulating. The choices are infinite and are as distinctive as you and your assortment of knickknack.

Listed here are some storage and show potentialities 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, picture: Jera Lodge – @jerarosepetal

A {custom} wall mount

Artist Jera Lodge picked up a weathered board whereas at Haystack Mountain Faculty of Craft in Deer Isle, Maine. She used a easy wire bending approach discovered from fellow artist Ellen Wieske to create a {custom} wall show for her earrings and necklaces. Lodge actively wears her items, so that they don’t dangle 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, picture: Donald Friedlich

Shadow bins

Donald Friedlich has amassed fairly a set of knickknack by means of 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 bins bought from a craft retailer. Shadow bins are deep framed bins historically made to retailer mementos. This makes them supreme for exhibiting jewellery that has extra dimension. Shadow bins have linen or different material backing that’s barely padded. The padding allows you to pin items in place. Some shadow bins are even hinged with magnetic closures to supply frontal entry. This answer gives a method to shield the work from each mud and daylight. You’ll want to examine 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, picture: Efharis Alepedis

Show the work round your house

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

Jewellery storage in plastic drawers and bins, Assortment of Deedie Rose, Promised Reward to the Dallas Museum of Artwork, picture 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 increasing into the closet. As somebody who wears items from her assortment day by day, Rose needs the work to be accessible with out having to fuss with too many obstacles when she is preparing. She retains monitor of her assortment with playing cards printed with the artist’s title and different vital info.

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, picture courtesy of Deedie Rose


Rose additionally shows work all through her dwelling, put in in attention-grabbing 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 attention-grabbing 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, picture: John White

For California-based collector Susan Beech,[iv] wearability is a figuring out think about her buying choices. She wears items from her assortment recurrently. Her storage answer consists of having furnishings created particularly to carry her jewellery. This enables the work to be displayed whereas retaining it accessible for her to put on. The furnishings itself is a chunk of artwork and an announcement in her lovely dwelling as properly.

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, picture: Tom Grotta, courtesy of browngrotta arts

Artist-built mounts

The late Sandra Grotta’s art-filled dwelling, 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 guide The Grotta Residence by Richard Meier: A Marriage of Structure and Craft consists of a number of images of the shows inside the lovely constructing designed for the Grottas to stay with the attractive 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, picture: Tom Grotta, courtesy of browngrotta arts

Museum-quality shows

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

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

These are only a few methods jewellery lovers stay with their jewellery collections. The chances are infinite, as diverse 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, picture: Efharis Alepedis

RELATED: For an instructional have a look at the difficulties of artwork jewellery conservation,
please see the 2018 AJF article by Astrid Ubbink, The Considerations of Conservation.





[v] See different examples right here:


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