During my first week here in Amsterdam I have been getting lost and finding my way around. The best way to explore really, especially with bipolar weather that involves rain.
On Tuesday I spent the afternoon with jewelry artist Gesine Hackenberg. After meeting her at her home for a coffee and some concept conversation we headed to her studio space. Located outside of the city it is actually in an old school building that has been repurposed. Some of her studio neighbors include graphic designers, photographers, puppet craftsmen, and a few fellow jewelry artists. The feeling I got from the area her space was in definitely reminded me of Detroit. Being an area that is trying to find itself again through the arts.
Wednesday I had arranged two appointments that sadly fell through due to illness on both accounts. Seeing as the day was then free I decided to wander again. This time the wandering did not involve so much getting lost! I was able to find Galerie Louise Smit and Galerie Rob Koudijs. The nice thing about Louise Smit is that I have 1. heard so much about it and 2. both Iris and a Cranbrook graduate from this year, Edgar Mosa, both have work there. Not to mention I was also able to attain a special edition copy of an artist book that I have been after for some time now. Gesine is who told me about the Rob Koudijs location. It was one I was not familiar with but very glad that I was told to visit. Not only is the space very open and welcoming but so is the owner. Very attentive and informative to those who are not familiar with where jewelry art is right now. I really enjoyed hearing him talk with patrons and also speaking with him myself.
The work on display at Koudijs involved a main display, and entry room display, a more permanent collection as well as a short term display from a Konstfack graduate. The entry room display was the work of Stefan Heuser called A master of self control narrated. This work involved a collection of rings, necklaces and three bust pieces. Following his work in the main area was the work of Karen Pontoppidan. This work was called Canvas. Its goal being to make a statement regarding fine art vs craft arts. The idea that paintings are considered high or fine art while contemporary jewelry is still considered solely craft still. Thus she made broaches of tiny mixed media paintings. Not only were the pieces clear in their statement but also well crafted. Pontoppidan is a professor at Konstfack University who helped form the artist in the short term display area near the permanent collection. This student being Yasar Aydin. Having seen his work before online I was thrilled to see it in person. Obviously I really fancy his pieces of jewelry. Utilizing some of my most favorite materials such as precious metals, leather, and porcelain. Please take a look at the galleries and their artists.
Finally, I have gotten to do a little work of my own today. I must say it feels good and refreshing to sit down and use my hands again. This weekend is kind of my 'art in Amsterdam' weekend due to having a few appointments during the next couple of weeks before going to France. So off I go to try and get some sleep before getting back to work tomorrow!