© Fall 1999 Newsletter


New at Silversmithing.com

  • SAS Members can now see when their membership expires at http://www.silversmithing.com/1list.htm

  • Members wishing to have newsworthy material posted on our site or in SASnews, are welcome to e-mail or fax us. It is at the discretion of SAS as to the appropriateness of the submitted material and how it will be used. Postings on the Web site will remain up to one year. All memberships will be confirmed prior to posting.

  • American Silversmith, our end-of-year publication, will now be available on our Web site. Since purchasing a new scanner with a transparency adaptor, SAS now has the ability to show more Artisan work, workshop views, and other silver-related images on the Web. If you are one of the few members who are not yet connected to the Internet, you are welcome to call us at 401/567-7800 for a copy of American Silversmith as it appears on our Web site.

  • Having trouble finding the right chasing pitch? Do you actually know how to use the stuff? Charles Lewton-Brain has all the answers at http://www.silversmithing.com/1pitch.htm

  • We now have a MUCH faster and easier to use SilverChat on the site at http://www.silversmithing.com/silchat.htm

New Member Benefit

The number of pieces for sale in our on-line Artisan Silver Gallery will be growing over the next month. As a member of SAS, you will receive a 10% discount on all objects purchased from the site. To see the latest offerings, visit the Gallery at http://www.silversmithing.com/gallery.htm

My Wise Mentor
by Valentin Yotkov

There are people in life whose names we keep in our hearts forever. And at this time of the year we think even more often about them and the difference they made in our lives.

One of those people was my teacher, Alexander Raiev, the greatest man I've ever known, and a Bulgarian treasure when he was living. I loved this man like my own father, and miss him a great deal.

He belonged to that old, romantic generation of true masters, who carried the priceless values and ethics of the guild system into our modern time and kept them alive.

I was so fortunate to inherit a portion of his wealth of knowledge and experience. We built that unique, precious, almost sacred relationship that can only develop between the Master and an apprentice. He didn't only teach me silver-smithing, he often spoke about the philosophy of life, the mystery of human nature. He taught me how to respect and earn the respect of other people, how to make friends, how to read and understand one's character, and help others feel valuable and important.

We did not come into this world to simply consume its fruits, but to enjoy life and leave something behind for others to enjoy. Life isn't just eating and sleeping; life is creating and sharing. And he did share his knowledge generously. What a great man! I don't understand why people like him should ever die.

At this most joyful time of year, let’s remember our teachers once again, and thank them for making a difference in our lives! I would like to tell my teacher: Master, I treasure every moment of the time we spent together!

Determining a Commission
by Fredric B. DeVantier

In order to determine a retailer’s 40% commission for a piece of work, it is not correct to multiply its wholesale value by 1.40. Suppose you want to receive a sum based on material, mark-up, labor, and miscellaneous costs, and that your representative or gallery is to receive a 40% commission. If, for example, $3,000 is your desired wholesale price, and a 40% commission is to be added for the retailer, use this formula: $3,000 ÷ .60 = $5,000 retail. If the retail price is known, use this formula to determine the retailer’s commission: $5,000 x .40 = $2,000.

Artisan Member News

Sue Amendolara, Boris Bally, John Cogswell, Jack da Silva, Cynthia Eid, Susan Ewing, Randy Long, Kurt Matzdorf, Thomas Muir, Billie Jean Theide, and Munya Avigail Upin are participating in “Magic and Ritual: Hannukkiahs Seen Through Contemporary Eyes.” The exhibition was curated by Robert Schroeder (Fort Wayne Museum of Art). Steinbaum Krauss Gallery, 132 Greene St., New York, NY 10012, 212/431-4224. Show dates: November 27–December 30, 1999 and traveling.

Michael Banner participated in the Westchester Craft Show in October, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show in November.

Jeffrey Herman recently conserved four trophies for the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island. The trophies required minor dent removal, hand polishing, and a coating of Renaissance wax to preserve their finishes. For demonstrations of the repair process, visit the SAS Web site at http://www.silversmithing.com/restore.htm.

Earlier this year, the Florida Society of Goldsmiths announced the creation of The National Metalsmiths Hall of Fame. It is dedicated to honoring metalsmiths with exceptional careers as well as recognizing others for their significant achievements in related fields. The HOF also fosters an appreciation of metalsmithing by collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and making this information available to the public.

The first recipient of this award is SAS Artisan Kurt Matzdorf, professor emeritus, State University of New York at New Paltz. It was presented at Wildacres, NC, last July. Kurt was chosen by the HOF committee for his outstanding work as an educator and artist. He has received more commissions for his ceremonial art work than any other silversmith in this country. The committee says: “After speaking with several of his students, there was no doubt that he deserved this award.”

Kurt also appeared on cable-TV’s Home & Garden’s “Modern Masters Holiday Special” on December 5.

Ronald J. Wyancko recently completed a chain of office for Dr. Lynwood Rose, president of James Madison University. It was presented to him at his inauguration on September 17. There are 47 links to form the chain, and three cast sterling medallions. Amethyst and citrine gemstones are also set in two of the medallions.

Supporting Member News

“Arthur Wesley Dow: His Art & His Influence,” is the topic of a symposium to be held at Spanierman Gallery in New York City on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, January 15–16, 2000. Through lectures, panel discussions, and workshops, the program will explore Arthur Dow's thinking, work, influence on his students, and on American fine and decorative arts. W. Scott Braznell will present a talk, “The Dow Idea and American Metalwork and Jewelry.” For more information, or to register for the event, please call Betty Krulik at Spanierman Gallery: 212/832-0208. The cost of the symposium and related special events is $250.

The Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York, has planned a symposium to accompany a special installation— “About Face: John Singleton Copley's Portrait of a Colonial Silversmith.” This installation will focus on the Gallery's unfinished portrait of the Boston colonial silversmith and engraver Nathaniel Hurd. Patricia E. Kane will be speaking at the symposium on April 8, 2000. Her topic will be “Nathaniel Hurd: The Life of a Colonial Silversmith and Engraver.” For more information about this program, contact Marjorie B. Searl, Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs, 716/473-7720 or msearl@mag.rochester.edu.

New York University will hold an Appraisal Studies Conference on March 16–18, 2000, on the topic “Glistening Transmissions of Style: American Silver and International Influence.” This conference surveys over 225 years of American silver, focusing on its role in transmitting style and taste. Because silver objects could be easily carried to other places and are shaped from material with intrinsic value, these objects have often been in the vanguard of new aesthetic movements. Sessions at the University are complemented by receptions at Tiffany & Co. and at the Museum of the City of New York, with a private viewing of the exhibition “Elegant Plate.” The New York Silver Society’s Eighth Annual Dinner follows the conference on Saturday evening. Among the speakers will be W. Scott Braznell who will speak on “The Early Career of Ronald Hayes Pearson and the Post-World War II Revival of American Metalsmithing and Jewelry Making,” and Patricia E. Kane who will speak on “Rethinking Yale University’s American Silver Collection.” For further information about this conference, contact Lisa Koenigsberg, Director, Programs in the Arts, 212/998-7130, Fax: 212/995-4293.

Edinboro University is pleased to announce that Cappy Counard Wolf has accepted a tenure track position to teach jewelry design & metalsmithing. She joined SAS Artisan Sue Amendolara in the department this Fall. Cappy received her MFA from the University, of Southern Illinois at Carbondale last August. She received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1992. Prior to attending graduate school, Cappy spent two years in Japan teaching English and maintaining a metals studio. She was recently a finalist in the Student Silversmiths Competition sponsored by the Society of American Silversmiths, and a recipient of the Women's Jewelry Association Scholarship.

On the occasion of the National Ornamental Metal Museum’s Twentieth Anniversary Celebration in September, the Board of Trustees unveiled a bronze plaque naming the gallery building after NOMM’s founding director Jim Wallace. City council member and museum trustee, Barbara Swearengen Holt, read a proclamation calling the date “National Ornamental Metal Museum Day” in Memphis.

Addendum to Silver Sources

Omitted from the Summer 1999 issue of SASnews for active and discontinued flatware, holloware, unusual pieces, and pattern matching, was: The Silver Smiths, PO Box 5118, Fresno, CA 93755, 559/439-4611.

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