Last December executive director of the Brooklyn Arts Center, Richard Leder, was preparing for his annual Holiday Flea—a fun, unique shopping experience focused on local and regional vendors. Aside from quality items from trusted dealers, for Leder the key to successful shopping events always centered around variety.
“We try to create balance so there aren’t too many of this or too many of that,” Leder explains. “There are so many jewelers who would love to be in [the Flea events,] and we can only take so many . . . which is why we’re doing a jewelry show in January.”
Enter: the Precious Metal Jewelry Show, scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31 from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. It is a partnership between the Brooklyn Arts Center and local, celebrated metalsmith Mitzy Jonkheer. It will be another curated shopping event, but solely focused on handmade jewelry from across the southeast.
Jonkheer, who owns Jonkheer Jewelry Art Studios (4410 Wrightsville Ave.), has been working closely with the BAC to bring local and regional jewelry artists to the inaugural event. She suspects its success will go beyond selling jewelry.
“Participating in local shows is a great way to meet new customers and to let them know that I have a gallery here in town,” she says. “Being a vendor allows me to network and to meet other artists.”
Leder and Jonkheer first worked together when he launched Art for All at the BAC in February 2012. Now, Art for All 6 is just around the corner (Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 20-21), and Jonkheer says their partnership continues to be fruitful and rewarding. “Working with him has allowed me be involved in cultivating the art community in Wilmington,” she adds.
Folks can expect to see pieces from Jonkheer, specifically made for the show, new works in gold, as well as some of her personal favorites in sterling silver. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, gift ideas abound.
“Recently, I have been combining faceted stones with rough cut stones,” she explains. “It’s unexpected and different. I’ll have lots of hearts, and poetry cuffs with daring poetic expressions of love stamped on the inside of the cuff, hidden from view, a secret message for the wearer.”
New inspirations and design trends in craft jewelry will be prevalent at the inaugural shop fest. “Currently I am inspired by the lyrics and music from my youth,” Jonkheer continues. “Trends change so quickly, so it is hard to keep up. Cabochon stones are back in, as well as pieces with a Native American feel. Charms are big, especially ones with a loved one’s name stamped into it.”
Other featured vendors include Gaines Kiker Silversmith of Blowing Rock, NC. His work spans 20 years of experience and runs the gamut from earrings to bracelets to metal sculptures and custom pieces.
“I am familiar with most [vendors] and their work, but am especially excited that Gaines Kiker will be participating,” Jonkheer says. “He was a classmate of mine at East Carolina. His mother was a jeweler and he grew up watching her make jewelry. I remember being in awe of his level of skill when we were in school.”
Forty vendors cover a slew of specialties, from goldsmiths to silversmiths, enamelists to glass bead artists. Metamorphosis Metals from Raleigh, E.V. Metal Works of Charlotte, and Wilmington’s own Whistlepig Workshop and Melissa Tyson Designs are among many who will set up shop Sunday.
Prices range from $20 and up for handmade works, and $5 admission (kids 12 and under, free) to the show includes a raffle ticket. Donated items from vendors, including a pendant with a hammered silver heart from Jonkheer, are a part of the raffle.
Joining the Precious Metal Jewelry Show will be Catch the Food Truck. Plus, a coffee and cash bar will be on site. Parking in the North Fourth neighborhood will be free.
For more information about the Precious Metal Jewelry Show on Sunday, Jan. 31, contact BAC event coordinator, Jessica Pham, at firstname.lastname@example.org.