Been doing some jewellery-exercise. A few sedate the rounds of the intertubes (there’s a public holiday in many parts of Australia today) looking at competitions that have wended their way to my inbox. Through one I found out that Damian Skinner is now writing the Art Jewelry Forum blog, for the US based AJF. And via a post by him, I landed on a documentary called Jewellery Talk made in 2006 by two Swedes, Daniela Hedman and Kajsa Lindberg. The premise is simple, and would have made for one amazing road trip. Get a bunch of formidable artist-jewellery heads on film responding to some probing questions about jewellery. At a little under 50 minutes, it does take a little time to get through, but it’s well worth wading right on in.
The whole premise reminds me a little of doing a winery tour, to the point that I’m conjuring images of James May’s latest tv series as well as the film, Sideways, from a few years back. These images are just popping into my head, as my brain rifles around the ‘ole filing system thrusting catalogue cards into the air, seeking a way to frame what I just saw.
It’s like going to see the makers and sellers of wine, on their soil, to ask them about the importance of their product. Obviously the answers vary. Makers respond on their own brand, though some seek to explain their chosen variety too. There’s talk of past vintages, cellaring and sales, and the time-line carries right on up to the current crop and how it handles, and how it might mature. Some go so far as to elucidate on what the future of their region, or even the business/craft/artform in general, may hold. It’s a very thoughtful piece, well edited, and most importantly, is underpinned by a great idea.
In the end what struck me most is how unfamiliar many interviewees seemed to be at being asked, and answering, these questions. But at the conclusion of the film I am more hopeful that these questions will continue to be asked, and answered.