Organizational News August 2011

Find out what has been going on organizationally over the last several months.

Since our last newsletter Ethical Metalsmiths launched the Jeweler Directory. Enabling us to to connect the growing number of conscientious consumers with jewelers and metalsmiths committed to ethical sourcing and transparent practices. We have initiated scientific research that will no doubt provide new recommendations to keep your studios and local environments safer and healthier. Radical Jewelry Makeover is gearing up for the October edition in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We are honored to be working with a community so dedicated to jewelry and tradition and welcome the opportunity to learn as well as share. Right now we are beginning to collect donations of unwanted jewelry. In May the Society of North American Goldsmiths held its annual conference, which always brings together a group of talented and wonderful people. This conference revealed that EM and its message has become part of the culture of the field of jewelry and metalsmithing.

the Jeweler Directory
You too are invited to join the Jeweler Directory. The directory is a visually attractive online database designed to introduce jewelers who are informed and committed to social and environmental responsibility with consumers who are searching for quality, ethically sourced hand made jewelry. The directory will offer jewelers a unique opportunity to promote their values as well as their jewelry. The $25 set-up fee will be waived for jewelers who upload their application before Sept.1, 2011. Does the logo look familiar? You may have seen it in the latest issue of Metalsmith magazine!

Read the official press release
Go to the Jeweler Directory

Studio Practices Working Group
This summer committee members spoke with Senior Toxicologist for the EPA and metalsmithing instructor, Charles Salocks. He was impressed with work that the group is doing and reinforced the validity of one of our biggest concerns – communicating clear and safe chemical disposal recommendations. Another new collaborator in the research is Lou Pounder; she is a student of industrial hygiene who has generously offered to study some of our most common studio chemicals. We will be working with Lou throughout the fall semester as she helps us to eliminate speculation with real tests. If you are interested in participating in monthly conference calls with this group, please contact us at

TIP: Material Safety Data Sheets are useful, but they are by no means perfect. Information is often incomplete on MSDS sheets should not be taken as an indication of “perfectly safe” no matter how used – instead missing or unclear information should raise all caution flags and with maximum safety precautions. Some chemicals used in jewelry are not even included in major databases used by research toxicologists!

Radical Jewelry Makeover
When loved, but no longer wanted jewelry looks for another opportunity to be worn, some of its owners send their jewelery to Radical Jewelry Makeover. In fact, even though RJM Santa Fe doesn’t kickoff until Sat. Oct. 22 several donations have already been sent in. Do you have jewelry you are ready to share with jewelers poised to transform it as part of a community jewelry mining and sourcing education project? Click here to download the RJM Santa Fe donation form. Also visit the RJM-Santa Fe page.

Featured on the new Ethical Metalsmiths website are online galleries from past projects. This section of the site was made possible through an exhibitions grant from the Rotasa Foundation. Also new is the Radical Jewelry Makeover online store!

Curious how our Radical Jewelry Makeover – United States Artists Project Site fundraiser went? Check out the latest blog entry for our thank you note to supporters, the grand total and a list of everyone who committed their support.

Society of North American Goldsmiths conference – Seattle, WA
Ethical Metalsmiths’ efforts and projects were noted during a special conference session sponsored by Art Jewelry Forum entitled, Nothing if Not Critical. During this session, ethics in contemporary jewelry were addressed by Australian curator and writer Kevin Murray and refreshingly, Ethical Metalsmiths was both praised for the doors it has opened and challenged not to get stuck in a fundamentalist mode. Read Kevin Murray's essay on the Art Jewelry Forum blog. Additionally, Ethical Metalsmiths' director, Christina Miller, wrote one of three essays included in the exhibition catalog for, "Geography", a show of contemporary jewelry organized and hosted by Art Jewelry Forum. To learn more about the show and/or order a catalog, follow this link.