A Feast of Beads

jewelry arts



There were many delights in A Feast of Beads, a recent Facèré gallery exhibition of jewelry made by ceramic artists and jewelrymakers who work with clay. But perhaps none of the work was so utterly exuberant and purely pleasurable to the eye and the hand as the large clay bead necklaces made by New York sculptor Megan Bogonovich. Her hollow clay beads range in size from cherries to tangerines. They have the elongated dimensions of kiwis and look like brilliantly-colored tropical fruits embellished with the swirling calligraphy of Islamic tiles. The necklaces are surprisingly lightweight, but make bold statements. Put one of these around your neck and you might as well be shouting out to the world “Hey, it’s great to be alive! Look at all the beauty and joy around us!”

With works by seventeen American artists, the show was organized by Gail M. Brown, a Philadelphia-based curator of contemporary craft. The show came about through Facèré’s owner Karen Lorene’s intention to tie in with the Seattle NCECA Conference for arts educators who specialize in clay. Many galleries around the city featured ceramic art during the conference. However Facèré’s show was singular in that Brown asked ceramic sculptors who normally do not make jewelry to scale down their work and come up with clay jewelry that in some way incorporated the idea of beads. Approximately two-thirds of the artists in the exhibition are ceramic sculptors with little or no previous experience making jewelry. The remaining are jewelrymakers who sometimes use clay in their work.



Facèré’s next show opens at its Seattle, Washington, location on July 18 with an artist lecture and gallery reception. IDIOSINCRATIC, featuring nine jewelers, explores the concept of sin in all its infinite permutations.




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