From the Bench: Redesigning Jewelry with Janis Kerman

It’s spring cleaning time! I’m not talking about cleaning out your clothes closet – I’m talking about cleaning out your jewelry box. You know those things that are sitting there that you are never, ever going to put on but that you just can’t part with. They may be family heirlooms, or things that evoke special, sentimental memories but just don’t reflect your current style. I’ve got a solution – join us May 4-6 for our custom design event with jewelry desiger Janis Kerman. Blending the old with the new by using stones and metals from your existing jewelry, Janis can create a design that matches how you dress and live today. Finished jewelry from her collection will also be in the store, including her famous asymmetrical earrings which are definitely a customer favorite.

Janis has been designing jewelry for 45 years.  Her first exhibition was in her hometown of Montreal and, once again, The Guild in Montreal will hold another Janis Kerman exhibition — this time, a retrospective of her career.  As part of the run-up to the exhibition, MetalAid conducted this fabulous interview with Janis about her career — the early days, how she approaches her work, inspiration and what comes next.

I met Janis Kerman in February 2006 at a small, juried trade show and immediately knew that her stunning jewelry needed to be a part of Max’s.  In retrospect, “knowing” what the store needed is a strong statement because we wouldn’t be open for another 3 months so I was shopping for inventory with a hope and expectation of who our customer would be and what s/he would like.  Not only did I immediately realize that her contemporary designs aligned with my personal taste, but also with the premise of “jewelry as art”, which is an underpinning of what Max’s tries to represent to our customers.

Fast forward 10 years, and Janis and Max’s are still together!  Her annual custom design event has become a must-do event for many of our customers as she has breathed new life into those family heirlooms and “stale” jewelry pieces.  If you’re interested in a custom design, please give us a call in the store to make an appointment. Also, need I remind you that Mother’s Day is just around the corner? Graduation season?  I think you probably get the point — more about that later!


One of Our Customers’ Favorites–The Anne Sportun Trunk Show

Some things are just meant to be.  In the world of fine, artisan, artful jewelry, there is a lot of beauty from which to choose.  Not everything is right for everybody, and that’s how it should be.  There are some designers, however, who just seem to have a knack for designing a wide range of highly wearable pieces that have really, really broad appeal.  Anne Sportun is one of those designers and has been one of our customers’ favorites since the very beginning of Max’s.  Truly, we have been representing Anne’s jewelry since day 1 — and that’s almost 11 years ago!  During that time, Anne’s line has continued to grow and grow and grow — from easy to wear everyday jewelry like these gemstone wrap bracelets that are so popular, to special occasion pieces to a complete line of wedding rings for both the bride and groom, there really just may be something for everyone here.

Trunk shows are one of our favorite things at Max’s because it’s such a great opportunity to bring more of a designer’s work to our customers, and there is no doubt that our customers love it when it’s time for Anne Sportun show.  That time has come — the show runs all day Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22.


You Dropped a (Peacebomb) on Me

I love this picture.  In today’s world that is filled with so much ugliness, the idea of flowers exploding in the air is a welcome site.  I was drawn into the Article22 booth at a recent trade show both by this image and by this spoon that was at the front of the display that said “this is not a spoon”.  As I was picking the spoon up and not understanding how it could be so light, someone approached me and said “it was a bomb”.  Excuse me, but what did you just say?  “A bomb.”  I needed to hear the story.

Article22 is a designer brand of hand crafted jewelry and home accessories that tells real stories of transformation of negative into positive.  The first collection, Peacebomb, is jewelry that has been up cycled by artisans in Laos.  It is made made from detonated bombs and other scrap aluminum and finished with precious metals and stones.  The bombs were dropped on Laos by the U.s. during the Viet Nam war; an  average  of  one  bomb-load  every  eight  minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years, approximately 250 million bombs. Laos  was  left  with  80  million  unexploded  bombs  contaminating  the  land.  Less  than 1%, around 500,000, of the bombs have been cleared.  A portion of the sales proceeds from the Peacebomb collection help fund the clearance of some of these unexploded bombs.

Earlier this month, Article22 was recognized by Prince Harry at Kensington Palace as he paid homage to the inspirational legacy of his mother 20 years after both her death and historic minefield walk which brought to life the horror still facing communities ravaged by war.

2017 also marks the signing and ratification of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty, and MAG’s (the Mine Advisory Group) Nobel Peace Prize award.  ARTICLE22 has worked with MAG since 2010 and has donated funds to help clear over 150,000 square meters of bomb littered land in Laos.  This includes the removal of 400 unexploded bombs from the land of one artisan family in Naphia Village where the jewelry is produced.

And to think it all started with a spoon.