Jewelry is more than adornment. It’s an expression of the wearer. For these eight studio artists, the urge to create is incessant, and is inspired by organic and man-made details. The work sometimes mixes mediums, but always illustrates a mastery of technique and form.

Rachel Sims first encountered glass at age 16, when a local artist asked her to demonstrate flame-working at the Iowa State Fair. She followed that experience with a degree in jewelry and metalsmithing at the Rhode Island School of Design and a master’s in accessory design at the Creative Academy in Milan, Italy. She worked for a decade designing watches in Geneva, Switzerland, before deciding to launch her Corning, Iowa, studio fuzzishü in 2007. Today she mixes metal and glass to create vibrant, high-energy pieces.


Finalists, friends and retailers celebrated the best in fine North American craft at the 2009 NICHE Awards, held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia Feb. 15 as part of the Buyers Market of American Craft. Venerable glass artist Stuart Abelman acted as the ceremony’s guest emcee, and NICHE publisher Wendy Rosen noted the craft community’s strong history and promising future.

It’s A Man’s World Too

The next time a man enters your store and says he’s looking for a piece of jewelry, it just might be for himself. Men’s interest in rings, tuxedo studs, bracelets and cufflinks has been on the upswing over the past few years. “Our findings suggest that men are putting their experience as knowledgeable consumers of women’s jewelry to work in making fine jewelry purchases for themselves,” says Pam Danziger, president of the Stevens, Pa.-based market research firm Unity Marketing, and author of several books about the luxury consumer market. Gallery owners are seeing an increase in the number of men, from their late teens into their 60s, who are comfortable trying on and purchasing jewelry for themselves.

What’s In A Name?

Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood is way too cosmopolitan to compare to Mayberry, and yet it shares some of the best features of that mythical township. Families stroll the tree-lined streets, munch on homemade pastries at cozy cafes, take in a movie at a vintage cinema and shop at locally owned stores like Crackerjack Contemporary Crafts, an ongoing celebration of handmade jewelry, glass, ceramics and wearables.

Record for the Hungry

Seventy-year-old ceramist Albert Goldreich broke the record for “continuous throwing on the potter’s wheel by one person” on Jan. 24 at 18 Hands Gallery in Houston, Texas. During a special “Throw-a-Thon” event, Goldreich threw clay for 18 hours, creating 100 bowls that he will donate to Empty Bowls Houston, a benefit for the Houston Food Bank. His feat will be recognized in The Book of Alternative Records.

Although breaking the 17-hour record was one of his goals, he also wanted to “bring awareness to Empty Bowls Houston and to their mission to help feed the hungry,” Goldreich explains. “It’s actually very relaxing to work at the wheel.”

News from the Gallery Front

Brush Strokes Gallery in Fredericksburg, Va., celebrates its fifth anniversary April 3 with a First Friday reception for the month-long exhibition of Kandra Orr’s paintings. Brush Strokes is composed of 22 member artists who offer monthly exhibits, classes and special events to promote and support the arts.

Delay for Some Producers of Children’s Products

In response to a series of 2007 toy recalls, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) went into effect Feb. 10, with some very important caveats for small businesses and secondhand shops.
Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) does define “anyone who makes, produces or assembles a product” a manufacturer, there is currently some leeway for products that contain natural or untreated materials.