The American Jewelry Design Council, an elite, self-nominated group of 34 jewelry craftsmen led by Alan Revere, has unveiled its latest theme project: “pyramid.”
Each year, members pick a theme and create pieces of jewelry art—not for resale—representing the idea, subject, or motif they’ve chosen. The goal of the program, now in its 11th year, is to “balance the intersection of art and industry,” according to Revere.
Each artist has 10 months to complete the assignment; then the pieces go on display at major jewelry shows, such as the summer Jewelers of America show in New York. They also become available for educational tours, traveling to such venues as the Gemological Institute of America and other museums.
Interpretations vary as widely as the works of the designer themselves. For example, George Sawyer’s tiny tomb of steel and 24k gold reminds viewers of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus, and Revere’s ring is a wearable monument—complete with winding trails in gold leading up to a stone artifact peak—created in memory of a trip to Peru’s Machu Picchu.
Then there’s Susan Sadler. Known for large colored-stone jewelry, Sadler made a dog collar with pyramid-shape amethysts for canine companion Tut Tut. Sadler frequently—and to the dismay of some serious-minded AJDC members—makes light of the annual art entry. When the theme was “key,” Sadler made a garden shovel because it was a “key to her heart”; when the theme was “reinvent the wheel” Sadler made a pinwheel; for “fold,” she fashioned a 2-inch-tall lamp with a pleated parchment shade and changeable sapphire bulbs; and for “puzzle,” Sadler made an XY-chromosome composite because of her own befuddlement with relations between the two (Sadler was in divorce proceedings that year).
Why such irreverence? “I have a light sense of humor,” she says. “Plus, it makes me smile.”
11 Years of AJDC Art Projects