Thursday, May 29, 2008

Introducing the Radical Jewelry Makeover blog and San Francisco edition press release

This blog is being created to aid in the communication of up to date information about Ethical Metalsmiths' Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM) project.

RJM has taken place at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA (Feb/Mar 2007) and at Millersville University in Lancaster, PA (Oct/Nov 2007) and will take over San Francisco, CA this fall. The San Francisco edition will be the largest, most comprehensive RJM to date. If you are in the San Francisco area and are interested in participating as a maker, donor, makeover jewelry buyer or all three the press release below offers more information about this community project.

Downloadable jewelry donation forms will be available on the Ethical Metalsmiths website this summer!

Please check this blog often for up to date event details!!
Posted below you will find the introductory press release about the event.

May 21, 2008
For Immediate Release:

Radical Jewelry Makeover offers a fun, informed and creative alternative to mining and jewelry production

As a result of gold mining that took place more than a century ago, the San Francisco Bay is lined by several feet of sediment from hydraulic mining and its waters are contaminated with dangerous levels of mercury. Today, mining is this nation's most toxic industry according to the EPA. And Earthworks reports that an estimated 80% of the gold mined each year is used for jewelry, and a single gold ring leaves 20 tons of mine waste. Ethical Metalsmiths, an artist run non-profit organization seeks to galvanize mining reform efforts by staging an "alternative supply chain" and is bringing their successful project, Radical Jewelry Makeover to the San Francisco Bay Area in the fall.

This is how it works. The public will be asked to "mine" their homes, "uncovering" gold, silver, and other jewelry, that is no longer used and deposit their "lode" at designated places in the bay area. Teams of volunteer jewelers and metalsmiths working at schools and studios in seven different locations will reconstruct and transform the donations into exciting new jewelry designs. The resulting fresh, unique, handmade, 100% recycled jewelry will be exhibited and sold at San Francisco's renowned Velvet da Vinci gallery. Donors will receive discount coupons and sales will benefit Ethical Metalsmiths' efforts to educate and connect people with responsibly sourced materials.

Radical Jewelry Makeover, San Francisco edition offers a fun, informed and creative alternative to traditional mining practices and jewelry production. You can help by donating some of the smallest items in your home, jewelry for reuse and recycling.

“American households are a clean and transparent source of precious metals and jewelry that is waiting to be recycled. Ethical Metalsmiths will employ a skilled workforce of volunteer artists who will act as miners, smelters, refiners, designers, silversmiths, goldsmiths, chainmakers and stonesetters to transform your hoard of old jewelry into unique and innovative hand-made items,” says Christina Miller, Project Director.

Seven organizations, studios and schools are lined up to transform donations into inspiring new work. Coming together for the largest Radical Jewelry Makeover to date are Metal Arts Guild - San Francisco, Academy of Art University, California College of Art, City College, the Crucible, Revere Academy, Richmond Art Center and Scintillant Studio. The “makeover” jewelry will be exhibited and sold at Velvet da Vinci gallery.

Radical Jewelry Makeover is many things. It is a traveling community mining and recycling project and a creative art and education project, teaching makers how to produce contemporary, innovative jewelry from recycled sources and proudly placing responsible jewelry in the hands of the consumers. The overall project is meant to raise awareness of the connection between mining and metalsmithing as well as showcase innovative making.

“I have been working with Ethical Metalsmiths on the Radical Jewelry Makeover since it premiered in February, 2007 at Virginia Commonwealth University, where I teach jewelry and metalsmithing. The project offers students a unique perspective of their material. "Making" takes on new meaning and responsibility as they discover how their art and the environment are linked,” says Susie Ganch, Assistant Project Director.

Jewelry donations will be accepted from August 11 through September 11 at all of the participating schools (The Richmond Art Center, however is a MAIL IN site only – donations cannot be “dropped off” at this location). Donors will receive a dollar discount for their donation (based on material and quantity), which can be used toward the purchase of a “Makeover” piece. Donation forms will be available online at beginning June 15, 2008.

General Timeline:
- Drop off donations will be accepted from August 11 to September 11, 2008 at each school (except the Richmond Art Center, which is the MAIL IN site only.
- Donations can also be mailed to the Richmond Art Center, 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804.
- Schools will transform the donations between September 22 and October 15, 2008.
- Several schools are hosting Open House events for the public while work is in progress. A list of these events will be available at a later date.
- The exhibition at the Velvet da Vinci gallery, (on Polk between Broadway and Pacific) will take place October 22 through November 9. There will be a reception on October 24.


- Academy of Art University
410 Bush St. San Francisco, CA 94108
Contact: Charlene Modena - 415-618-3631
- California College of Art, Oakland campus
5212 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94618-1426
Contact: Curtis Arima - 510-205-5694
- City College
Drop off: Art Office in the Visual Arts Building at City College of San Francisco, in between Batmale Hall and the Creative Arts Building on the loop.
Contact: Art Department, Box V-28, 50 Phelan
Avenue, San Francisco CA 94112
Contact: Suzanne Pugh - 415-452-5782
- The Crucible
1260 7th St. Oakland, CA 94607
Contacts: Aimee Golant and Rob Nehring - 510-444-0919
- Revere Academy
760 Market St. Suite 900 San Francisco, CA 94102
Contact: Christine Dhein - 415-391-4179
- Richmond Art Center
Address: 2540 Barrett Avenue, Richmond, CA 94804
Ph: 510.620.6772 email:
Contacts: Alison Antleman - 510-704-1905
Kato Jaworski - 510-620-6773
Ed Lay – 510-367-3406
- Scintillant Studio
1258 Valencia St. 2nd Fl. San Francisco, CA 94110
Contact: Adam Clark - 415-505-1623
Scintillant Studio Phone: 415-206-1359
- Metal Arts Guild
Contact: Alison Antleman - 510-704-1905
- Velvet da Vinci Gallery
2015 Polk Street, San Francisco CA 94109
Contact: Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt - 415-441-0109

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