Jewelry at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show – A Unique Variety

(Above: Necklace by Tom Herman)

The jewelry category at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is unparalleled in its beauty and diversity, from fine gold and silver pieces, to unique and contemporary designs utilizing everything from precious metals to coins, paper, and as you’ll see below, even skateboards! A highly popular section of the Show, each artist’s work sparkles, shines, or surprises attendees in its own way. In this blog, we’re spotlighting three different jewelers, all at different points in their career, and each excited to be exhibitors at the 2019 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.

Be sure to check out their social media accounts below.

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EMILY SHAFFER - Emerging Artist

Emily Shaffer first showed a few of her undergraduate pieces in the Kutztown University student booth in 2014, but this will be her first year exhibiting on her own at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show as a studio jeweler and business owner. Four years into owning her company, she is looking forward to showing how far she has come as an artist since graduating college. “I’ve worked hard to develop a body of cohesive work with multiple collections”, she says. “What I enjoy most about the work I do is the actual act of creating something that I dearly love, as well as the challenge of combining it with business, something I believe is essential to making this life sustainable.”

Emily may be a new exhibitor at PMA Craft Show, but it is the other exhibitors that give her inspiration. Walking around the Show while participating in the Kutztown University student booth, she remembers seeing the exhibiting artists, and thinking these are all real people making a living and selling their craft. “It was a very special moment, seeing craft artists at shows, specifically women, many of whom run every aspect of their businesses on their own”, she shares. “It is hugely inspiring for me. I really look up to these women; they set such great examples as talented artists and designers, businesswomen, and all around supportive, kind people.”

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TOM HERMAN – Precious Jewelry of Metal and Stones

Tom has been a longstanding exhibitor at Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show for almost 30 years, and credits the PMA Craft Show as his most successful way to market and promote his work. When asked what he loves most about the Show, Tom equates the history of Philadelphia with the art of fine craft. “Philadelphia is the home of craftsmanship since the beginning of the country”, he says. “The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show has been the steward of studio arts and artists, providing an outlet for our creativity.” Tom’s work is inspired by Mother Nature, and he credits his expression of nature as the driving force in his work.

By far, Tom’s biggest achievement with his work to date has been the remarkable Matilija Poppy Project, a piece he co-created with Patsy Croft. Ultimately crafted as a donation to the Mendocino art center, it sold at Sotheby’s in April 2019 for $47,500. All proceeds are benefitting MAC’s jewelry/metal arts program, where Tom and Patsy hope their passion for the project inspires other artists to collaborate and push the boundaries of jewelry design.

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TARA LOCKLEAR - Jewelry From Repurposed Skateboards

This will be Tara’s fourth year at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. She has been making her one-of-a-kind works since college and is thrilled to have officially been in business for over six years. Tara creates her pieces from sheet steel, cast cement, and recycled skateboards and her focus is to create finely crafted jewelry that empowers individuality. Tara has taught workshops and lectured on her process throughout the United States.

“Being part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is always exciting”, says Tara. When we asked what she loves most about the work she does, she said, “There is nothing more satisfying than seeing how raw materials take the shape of my doodles and rendering. Knowing how to work with my hands to do that makes me excited throughout the whole process.” Tara’s inspiration comes from those around her. “People inspire me”, she explains. “Seeing all the different journeys and paths that each person takes and how they embrace the challenges – triumphs – failures. Every time I am able to step out of my small bubble and take part in other peoples’ stories, I always come back with new perspectives and thoughts.” She considers her biggest career achievement thus far to be seeing how customers get excited about something she has created that they want to wear. “That is the biggest success of all”, she says. “Bringing people joy with such a personal item as jewelry is always the most fulfilling.”

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Instagram: @emilyshafferstudio






Instagram: @taralocklear


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