Mad Loot

A group of 85 international designers gathered at New York’s Museum of Arts & Design in late April for “LOOT! 2006,” an exhibition of contemporary jewelry that allowed visitors to learn about and then buy the pieces on display.

The event was a three-day affair that included the show, lectures, and a workshop in which participants learned about materials and then made their own pieces of jewelry. Because all artists were contemporary, unusual materials like plastics, iron, and denim abounded, as did bold shapes, modern lines, and whimsical elements (like frothy gold stars that sit weightlessly on the neck).

The designers were mostly known, but some up-and-coming individuals—many traveling from England and Korea—participated, including Prince Dimitri, Jonathan Wahl, and Jung Hee Cho. The buzz on press preview night affirmed it was worth the trip; designers and salespeople chatted with press members, urging all to try on jewelry and explaining methods and inspiration.

Ditto on day three. “They said it was one of the best experiences they’ve had,” Donna Schneier, a jewelry collector, private dealer, and chair of the event told JCK. Schneier is interested in jewelry as wearable art, a concept perfectly exhibited at the show and one that seems to appeal to many consumers: Jewelry sales for “LOOT! 2006” totaled over $200,000.