21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series

21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series

Curated by Marthe Le Van and juried by 80 jewelers, this collection contains the best of the different "500" jewelry books. The result is a stunning collection of around 10 years of work by artists around the world. The total pool to draw from was 5,000 different pieces, and this book celebrates the pieces most representative from this era, most dynamic, essentially the 'best' of the best.

From a jewelry designer's point of view, 21st Century Jewelry brings inspiration to new jewelry works. From a jewelry wearer's or collector's point of view, 21st Century Jewelry serves as a great reference for prominent designers from many different countries.

Memorable Pieces From 21st Century Jewelry
  • Firestep by Gisbert Stach, 1994. This featured a shoe with a ring embedded in the bottom of the sole, making it hidden to anyone but those fortunate enough to see the bottoms; an invisible ring to everyone but the wearer.
  • Thoughts by Elizabeth Ryan, 2005. Everyone knows I'm a sucker for the written word, so when a piece of jewelry is created from aluminum wire and thread, formed into looping words, and powder coated in white, I'm hooked.
  • Rock Ring by Jim Cotter, 2000. This is a ring with marble on the outside, and smooth gold on the inside. The look is almost like fire-and-ice, with the rough marble looking very chilly, and the 14-karat gold inside having an almost-liquid look to it.
  • Repose Collection: Cuffs by Julie A. Matheis, 2002. This is a collection of feathers, strung and bound with thread together to create a cuff that actually looks comfortable. It's amazing to see them all sewn together and curved perfectly, and effortlessly.
Great Reference Book for Leading Jewelers

21st Century Jewelry features both photographs of stunning jewelry from leading artists, but also commentary from different collectors, curators, gallery owners, and even the artists themselves. The back of the book has an alphabetized listing of all the contributing artists, as well as brief biographies of the jurors. Foreword written by Marthe Le Van, and introductions written by Giovanni Corvaja (goldsmith & teacher); Mari Shaw (collector); Ron Porter (collector); Katie Scott (gallery director); Jo Bloxham (curator and collector); and Marjorie Schick (jeweler and teacher).

Book Information
  • 21st Century Jewelry: The Best of the 500 Series; by Marthe Le Van
  • Lark Crafts, an Imprint of Sterling Publishing
  • ISBN13: 9781600595219
  • Hard Cover, 420 pages, full color photos
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Renee Shelton.