Forging Communities


An Intimate One-Day Symposium
November 12, 2011, 9am-5:30pm
Sponsored by the Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco
Oakland Museum of California
1000 Oak St, Oakland, CA  94607

Deadline for Online Registrations with guaranteed lunch: Nov 8, 5pm
Deadline for Late Online Registrations (lunch not guaranteed): Nov 10, 8pm 

download the pdf flyer

Listen to interviews with the speakers on Metalsmith Benchtalk on blogtalkradio:
 Sept 8 broadcast  Oct 20 broadcast

SIGN UP TO VOLUNTEER: Pre-Symposium tasks, Day-of tasks

In celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco, this one-day symposium at the Oakland Museum of California is geared to the metals and jewelry community to reflect on what ties us together, network with new and familiar faces, and create dialogue on how we are moving the field forward.  Boxed lunches will be provided through a generous sponsorship from Rio Grande. rio grande logo

Metal Rising: The Forming of the Metal Arts Guild, San Francisco, California, 1929-1964

Presented by Jenna Shaifer (historian, owner of Jenna Shaifer Gallery). Introduction by Julie Muniz (Imogene Gieling Curator of Craft and Decorative Arts, Oakland Museum of California). Addressing the impetus behind the forming of the Guild, the work of the pioneering members, and the legacy of MAG in the American Modern studio jewelry movement.
Followed by In Conversation with Imogene Tex Gieling, merry renk, Florence Resnikoff (founding members of MAG), moderated by Jenna Shaifer.

What does Success Look Like in the Jewelry World – Issues related to the perception of success in the global marketplace. Panel discussion led by Sarah Turner (Assistant Director for Academic Affairs, Cranbrook Academy of Art), including Lola Brooks (artist, faculty at Rhode Island School of Design), Brigitte Martin (Founder, Chief Editor of crafthaus), and Sienna Patti (owner of Sienna Gallery).

Professional Practices: Conversation, Questions, & Commentary with Andy Cooperman and Harriete Estel Berman
The dynamic duo from the Professional Guidelines are back to spread the gospel of professional practices for artists – bring your questions and opinions to join them as they discuss a wide range of subjects.

The Maker Faire Phenomenon – Engaging Community and the Next Generation of Makers
Presented by Dale Dougherty (Founder of Make: Magazine and Maker Faire). How Maker Faire is establishing a hands-on DIY culture for the 21st century and creating a community-based model for learning that can change how we think about education.

The Extreme Craft Roadshow presented by Garth Johnson (founder, Extreme Craft, writer, artist, educator). A portrait of the blurred line between art and craft, featuring the “Greatest Hits” of the Extreme Craft website. Antiquated arguments about the line between art and craft are no longer valid, many of the artists presented are responsible for bringing about this sea of change.

11-11-11 Celebration
To kick off the Symposium and to celebrate the opening of the MOveMENT exhibition (curated by Julie Muniz and Harriete Estel Berman), MAG will have an evening celebration in the Mission District of San Francisco. With live music and dancing, this party is not to be missed! Foodies will love the local food cart vendors and drinks (food and drink for nominal purchase). This is a FREE event, all are welcome!

$85 MAG member     $95 Non-member
Student rate: $40      Afternoon-only rate, day of (depending on availability): $40

MAG will grant full refunds through Nov 4,2011, after which there will be no refunds, but tickets will be transferable. MAG must be notified of the recipient of the ticket transfer. Refunds will be processed within 30 days of written request. Contact

Renew your membership today and receive all the benefits of 2011 AND 2012!
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Thanks to our SPONSORS: Rio Grande, Otto Frei,  Academy of Art University, Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts

Rio Grande  Otto Frei Academy of Art Universityrevere academy of jewelry arts

More about the Symposium Sessions and Speakers

Session 1:
Metal Rising: The Forming of the Metal Arts Guild, San Francisco, California, 1929-1964
Introduction by: JULIE MUNIZ

In the Spring of 1951, a small group of metal artists, including Margaret De Patta, met in San Francisco to discuss the idea of developing an organization dedicated to the metal arts.  Up until that time, there was no group or union in the United States that specifically addressed the unique needs of studio jewelers or metal craftspeople.  MAG founders sought answers to challenges facing the contemporary artist-craftsmen actively engaged in the field of metalwork.  This lecture will address the impetus behind the forming of the Guild, the work of the pioneering members, and the legacy of MAG in the American Modern studio jewelry movement. It will be followed by an informal, Q&A discussion led by Jenna with MAG’s founding members Imogene Tex Gieling, merry renk, Florence Resnikoff.

JENNA Jennifer ShaiferSHAIFER
Jenna Shaifer is a historian, writer, and future gallerist based in New York City. She recently received her Masters in History of Decorative Arts from the Smithsonian Associates/Corcoran College of Art + Design program in Washington, DC.  Her research and writings focus on Modernism, craft, and design and have supported curatorial efforts at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of Arts and Design, and the Oakland Museum of California.   In 2009, she was awarded a Windgate Internship with the Oakland Museum of California for a retrospective exhibition and publication on Modernist jeweler Margaret De Patta.  This project supported her research efforts, culminating in her thesis, Metal Rising: The Forming of the Metal Arts Guild, San Francisco, California, 1929-1964.  Prior to her graduate studies, she worked for 12 years in various positions in the fashion industry for fashion houses such as Donna Karan New York, Isaac Mizrahi, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, and Talbots. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Merchandising from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.  Jenna Shaifer Gallery is scheduled to open in 2012 in New York City.

JULIE MUNIZjulie muniz
Julie M. Muniz is the Imogene Gieling Curator of Craft and Decorative Arts at the Oakland Museum of California where she manages the collection of historical and contemporary craft objects. At the OMCA, Ms. Muniz oversaw the installation of craft and decorative arts as the Museum underwent a major renovation and reinterpretation of its galleries. An avid lover of 3-dimentional art and design, she earned her MA from the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Art, Design, and Culture in New York City.

Prior to coming to Oakland, Ms. Muniz worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston where she co-curated the exhibition Shy Boy, She Devil, and Isis: The Art of Conceptual Craft, as well co-edited and authored the accompanying publication. Other publications include Connecticut Valley Furniture: Eliphalet Chapin and His Contemporaries, 1750-1800 and Creative Spirit: The Art of Mary Tuttle Lindheim. A popular speaker, she has lectured on several subjects throughout the country.

IMOGENE TEX GIELING, MAG FounderImogene Tex Gieling
Imogene “Tex” Gieling was a pioneer in the metal arts in the Bay area—an artist, educator, visionary, and philanthropist. During her career, which spanned decades, she influenced a generation of teachers in the field while continuing her own work in metals. Dedicated to the metals field in the Bay Area, she was a founder of MAG, and of the metals departments at the University of California Berkeley and San Francisco State University. To the Oakland Museum of California she endowed the Imogene Gieling Curator of Crafts and Decorative Arts position (held by Julie Muniz). Her jewelry has been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad, and she has completed numerous public and private commissions including one for the San Francisco Arts Commission. In 2003 she received the Honorary Member Award from the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) in recognition of a lifetime of achievements in the metal arts field.

merry renk, MAG Foundermerry renk
While a student at the Institute of Design in Chicago, Illinois, merry opened a gallery, with two other students, called 750 Studio, exhibiting crafts, painting, sculpture and photography.  They experimented with metals, built their kiln and began to make jewelry.  merry realized that making jewelry was her passion, quit school to teach herself the art of the Goldsmith.  She moved to San Francisco, CA, spent a year in Paris, painting, returned to San Francisco to become a full time professional goldsmith.  A founding member of the San Francisco Metal Arts Guild, merry is an honorary fellow on the American Craft Council.  Collections include OMCA, Oakland, CA; LACMA, Los Angeles, CA; MAD, New York, NY; mofaBoston, MA, and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

FLORENCE RESNIKOFF, MAG FounderFlorence Resnikoff 1980
Jeweler, sculptor, and teacher, Florence Resnikoff combined complex electrical-based processes with ancient techniques to create vibrantly colored jewelry and metalwork. Resnikoff began exploring jewelry and enameling through adult education courses while working as a registered medical technician in Chicago. In the early 1950s, she relocated to Palo Alto, and had her first one-person show at the Art Gallery at Stanford University in 1956. Her interactions with the Metal Arts Guild helped her build her repertoire of techniques and materials in which she accented her gold and silver jewelry with colorful jewels and enamels.  She served as Head of the Metal Arts Program at the California College of Arts and Crafts until her retirement as Professor Emerita in 1989. Named a California Living Treasure in 1985, collections include: The Oakland Art Museum, the San Francisco Art Commission, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Smithsonian Museum of American Arts and the Museum of Arts and Design (under consideration).


Session 2:
What does Success Look Like in the Jewelry World


Sarah Turner is the Assistant Director for Academic Affairs at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.  She holds a BA in Sociology from Smith College, studied jewelry and furniture at the Oregon College of Art & Craft in Portland, Oregon and has an MFA in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook.  Before taking the position at Cranbrook, Sarah was a visiting faculty member in the art department at SUNY New Paltz.  She continues as a guest teacher at the Rhode Island School of Design.  Sarah has lectured on and presented projects of contemporary applied art and jewelry nationally and internationally – including such venues as the Rietveld Akademie (Amsterdam), the Kornhaus Forum (Bern), Galerie Noel Guymarc’h (Montreal) and the Society for Arts and Crafts (Boston).  Sarah was a Fulbright Fellow in the Netherlands (2004) and now serves as the co-president of the Michigan Fulbright Association.

Lola Brooks is an artist, metalsmith, clotheshorse and sometimes writer living and working in New York City. She studied fashion at Pratt Institute and received her BFA in metals from SUNY New Paltz.  She has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and SUNY New Paltz, as well as the 92nd St Y in NYC, Haystack and Penland School of Crafts.  She is represented by Sienna Gallery in Lenox, MA and has work in the collections of the Samuel Dorsky Museum, The Museum of Art and Design, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Brigitte Martin, a native of Cologne, Germany, apprenticed with German Master Goldsmith Ulrike Brunsmann after working for Sotheby’s and the Contemporary Fine Art Gallery Michael Werner for a number of years. In 1995, she came to the US and opened her own jewelry studio. In May 2008, Brigitte created the popular social networking site crafthaus for which she acts as Chief Editor. Martin’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Art in Cleveland, and in galleries across the US. A member of the Society of North American Goldsmith’s Professional Development Seminar Steering Committee and a Program Committee Member for the SNAG conference 2013 in Toronto, Martin is also a public speaker on topics of online social networking, and is currently in the process of publishing her first book “Humor in Craft” due to be on the market in Spring 2012.

SIENNA PATTIsienna patti
After working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 20th Century American Decorative Arts Sienna Patti relocated to the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts to establish Sienna Gallery in 1998. Sienna Gallery sponsors the SGEA, an emerging artist award that works to establish unknown makers within the studio jewelry world and beyond. Past recipients include Lola Brooks, Melanie Bilenker and Anya Kivarkis. In 2010 Ms. Patti established ArtBerkshires and SPQ Projects to further promote studio jewelry alongside artists working in installation and object based two and three dimensional art incorporating craft media. Among other organizations and projects, Ms. Patti currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Art Jewelry Forum, The Creative Economy Council, is a founder and advisory board member of the Storefront Arts Project. She recently joined the local PTO.  


Lunch Break

Session 3:
Professional Practices: Conversation, Questions, & Commentary with Andy Cooperman and Harriete Estel Berman

Metalsmiths Harriete Estel Berman and Andy Cooperman have been working together for ten years spreading the gospel of professional practices through the Professional Guidelines series of documents and the Professional Development Seminar–now an official program of the annual SNAG conference.  They may not always agree, but their experiences on topics such as pricing, auctions, galleries, discounting and jurying for craft shows, exhibitions and publications are sure to inform and stimulate. Become part of the dialogue, bring your questions and opinions and join them as they discuss a wide range of subjects. 
 Panelists from Session 2 will be available for comment as well. 
Everything is on the table!

Harriete Estel Berman uses post consumer, recycled materials to construct artwork ranging from jewelry and teacups to entire lawns and works of social commentary. Collections include: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Museum of Arts and Design, Renwick Gallery, Oakland Museum of California, The Jewish Museum in New York and Berlin, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She is the author of Professional Guidelines for artists to promote understanding, checklists, and practical solutions for recurring issues in the art and craft community.  Click here for The Professional Guidelines. Her blog ASK HARRIETE regularly offers professional advice to the art community.  Ms. Berman has also organized the Professional Development Seminar for SNAG conferences with Don Friedlich and Andy Cooperman for the past six years and this year with Andy and Brigitte Martin.

Andy Cooperman has maintained a metals studio in Seattle since 1984 where he builds jewelry and small objects and works with custom and commission clients. His work has been featured in numerous books and magazines and is in private and public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum.  Andy conducts workshops and seminars across the country and taught in the metals program at the University of Washington 2006 – 2008.  Andy is also one third of the Professional Development Planning Seminar program planning committee which is part of the annual SNAG conference.  


Session 4: 
The Maker Faire Phenomenon – Engaging Community and the Next Generation of Makers

Dale Dougherty is the editor and publisher of MAKE magazine, which brings the do-it yourself mindset to everyday technology. He is the general manager of the Maker Media division of O’Reilly Media, Inc. Dougherty is the creator of Maker Faire, which leads a growing maker movement in New York, Detroit, and the Bay Area, showcasing DIY approaches in arts, crafts, science and engineering. He has been instrumental in many of O’Reilly’s most important efforts, including founding O’Reilly Media, Inc. with Tim O’Reilly. He was the developer and publisher of Global Network Navigator (GNN), the first commercial Web site, which launched in 1993 and was sold to AOL in 1995. Dale was developer and publisher of Web Review, the online magazine for Web designers, and he was O’Reilly’s first editor. This fall he was recognized as a “Champion of  Change” by the White House.


Session 5:
The Extreme Craft Roadshow

The Extreme Craft Roadshow is a 50-minute slide presentation covering many of the “Greatest Hits” of the Extreme Craft website. The artists and projects presented in the lecture are by turns hilarious, inspirational, deranged, sexual and downright disturbing. The Extreme Craft Roadshow presents its audience with a portrait of the blurred line between art and craft at present–fine artists using craft materials to get their point across, craft artists making work so audacious that it can only be considered fine art as well as people using traditional materials to express very non- traditional ideas. Antiquated arguments about the line between art and craft are no longer valid, and many of the artists presented in this lecture are responsible for bringing about this sea change.

Garth Johnson is a writer, artist and educator who lives and works in Eureka, California.  He is an assistant professor of art at College of the Redwoods.  Garth has written for magazines like CRAFT, Readymade, FiberArts and Hand/Eye.  His first book, 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse was published by Quarry in November, 2009.  He has also contributed to books like Handmade Nation, Craftivity, Craft Corps and World of Geekcraft.  His work has been exhibited internationally, as well as featured in magazines such as The Observer, Ceramics Monthly, American Craft, Metropolis and The Artist’s Magazine.
Garth is also a curator, with two recent exhibitions under his belt.  His first exhibition, “Renewal Notice” was curated for the 2010 American Conservation Film Festival in Shepherdstown, WV.  His second exhibition, “Era Messages” was curated from the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon, 2011.

Symposium Registration