Speakers for CJCI Convention 2016

Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l is pleased to announce the following speakers participating in CJCI Convention 2016:

Mary Ann Docktor-Smith

CJCI 2016 Convention Speaker Mary Ann Docktor-Smith

CJCI 2014 Convention Speaker Mary Ann Docktor-Smith

Mary Ann Docktor-Smith is a vintage jewelry collector, historian, dealer and member of Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l. She also creates artisan jewelry using vintage and natural stone beads, polymer clay and cork. Mary Ann is an expert on Selro jewelry, and Florenza jewelry and the history of Dan Kasoff Inc. She has presented on vintage jewelry topics in several venues, including CJCI Annual Convention, Bead Society of Greater Chicago, Chicago Botanic Garden, and 2007 VFCJ Vintage Jewelry Cruise.

Mary Ann’s two-part article Costume Jewelry Manufacturing Concepts appeared in the Fall and Winter 2010 issues of Costume Jewelry Collectors International magazine. She has also written several articles for The Jewelry Ring, including a monthly column, Jewel Notes from Mary Ann.
Before becoming a full-time jewelry dealer, Mary Ann spent many years in the financial services industry, first as a business-owner, and later as a relationship manager with a large international bank.

Mary Ann lives in Chicago with her husband, Randy Smith, and is an avid reader, traveler and gourmet cook. To visit Mary Ann’s website go to Anna’s Vintage Jewelry and Mary Ann, Mary Ann Designs (http://www.annasvintagejewelry.com). Contact email: [email protected]

Kevin Friedman

CJCI 2016 Convention Speaker Kevin Friedman

CJCI 2016 Convention Speaker Kevin Friedman

Back by popular demand, renowned South African jewellery designer Kevin Friedman has captivated both the local and international jewelry trade with his one-of-a-kind pieces which use an innovative combination of high cartage gemstones and precious metals with ordinary everyday “found objects”.

Kevin is a renaissance man who draws on the world around him for inspiration and creativity. His highly original, fresh approach to contemporary jewellery design, such as the extraordinary $16 million Ponahalo Necklace created for the Geneva-based Steinmetz group, is attracting major international interest. This extraordinary necklace – composed of a 316,15 carat diamond which was cut into five stones, combined with beads and 276 safety pins and made into a Marie Antoinette-style necklace – debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. The necklace and other examples of Kevin’s cutting-edge designs featured in luxury US magazine LuxLife in 2008.The Robb Report also devoted a page to this piece, saying that the necklace was “the most exciting piece of jewellery ever created”.

A lifelong fascination with the distinctive arts and crafts of South Africa has proved a valuable inspiration for his work, and he has been involved in meaningful community development projects with local crafters. Proof of this is his well known Ndebele bead and diamond choker, modeled by Charlize Theron, which garnered Kevin a De Beers Diamond International Award in 2000.

Kevin’s custom-made pieces have featured in the “ultimate catalog” Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, as well as in Gumps Magazine and Woman’s Day Magazine. He also created a line of beadwork Christmas decorations for the Designers’ Guild in London. In addition, he has designed a line of pewter and wood desktop items for Tiffany & Co in New York.

Kevin travels extensively for both discipline and inspiration. He makes custom-designed pieces for corporate and independent clients all around the world, although his focus in on the United States. He has done trunk shows from New York to Pittsburgh through to the Napa Valley, and shown at London Fashion Week.

On the home front Kevin’s beadwork, in particular his iconic Ndebele tree topper Christmas angel, for which he won an award from the South African government, is now appearing in the eighth definitive issue of SA Stamps. “My angel will be flying all over the world,” he quips.

A recent highlight was the collaborative exhibition with Apple at their iStore in Johannesburg which was a resounding success. Each piece of art and jewellery was a one-of-a-kind using Apple components, now technologically redundant but revived through art. It was a unique concept.
Kevin has been director of design at Frankli Wild™ African Classics in Johannesburg since 1989 and has built up a blue-chip clientele. He is part of a seven-generation line of jewelers. His grandfather Jack Friedman, who was born in Riga, Latvia, set up a jewellery manufacturing factory in Johannesburg in 1934. Jack was a founding member of the South African Jewellery Council and both he and Kevin’s father Frank were extremely influential in the South African jewellery industry. Frank won many international awards set up by the Gold Council and the then Chamber of Mines.

Kevin says that his father was particularly encouraging during the course of his career, allowing him to experiment and to push the envelope, while teaching him that education is the starting point of strength.

Brigitte Gervais

CJCI Convention 2016 Speaker Brigitte Gervais

Brigitte Gervais

From Brigitte: Jewelry has always been a part of my life. I am an avid, experienced collector of vintage and antique jewelry, with a keen eye for pieces that transcend time and strongly represent the style of the period. This has left me with a demanding standard for pieces that I am prepared to offer for sale (or add to my collection!).

Research has been critical to finding great, authentic pieces of jewelry so I am constantly pouring over books, period references, manufacturing techniques and the Internet. To assist in the discipline of evaluating both the intrinsic and provenance value of pieces, I completed an introduction to gemology course at the University of Alberta and acquired my General Certified Appraiser (GCA) designation from the College for Appraisers in California. I have been pleased to lecture on the subject to local clubs and been a featured appraiser on local television and appraisal fairs at our antique mall.

For over 35 years, I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve met selling antique jewelry. Like many in my field, I was quick to embrace the Internet and eBay and have been selling on Ruby Lane as The Gervais Collection (gold member) since 2004 I also have a new website called Kauniita.net where I feature my finest jewels as well as blogging about different aspects of collecting jewelry. I have been a member of Costume Jewelry Collectors Int’l and VFCJ since 1996 and treasure the friendships I have made in these clubs.

Joyce Zakierski Simmons

CJCI 2016 Convention Speaker Joyce Zakierski Simmons

CJCI 2016 Convention Speaker Joyce Zakierski Simmons

A long time collector and advocate of Vintage Costume Jewelry, Joyce Zakierski Simmons, has written and lectured extensively on this subject. Joyce was invited to be the first Guest Curator for the Sparta Historical Society Museum exhibit “Faux and Fabulous: 100 Years of Vintage Costume Jewelry”. This Sparta, NJ exhibition, on display from April 10 – June 26, 2016 featured 286 pieces of exquisite costume jewelry, all made/assembled in America. Joyce will address preparations for installing this museum exhibit which she organized and offer a power point presentation of the gallery display. The NEAJ (New England Antique Journal) with numerous other magazines published the photographic story.

A member of CJCI, Joyce was the founder of the NJ/METRO Chapter of VFCJ in 2000, organizing 27 successful local chapter shows until 2013. She published over 30 articles on jewelry for the VFCJ Club Magazine and the Canadian Bead magazine, “Wired”

As a retired Music Educator after 43 years, Joyce still teaches and lectures on Music Topics. She coordinates and develops educational and fund raising programs as a valued Board of Trustees Member of the Sparta Historical Society. Joyce is the Music Director/Organist at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Mt. Arlington, NJ. As a Choral Conductor in higher education since 1970, Joyce wore most of these dazzling jewels in concert, hence the beginnings of her love of collecting.

Her expertise, enthusiasm and willingness to share her knowledge are truly inspirational. When not involved in jewelry or music, you can find Joyce traveling, on the tennis courts or fly-fishing.

Anne Morrissey

To download the complete list of Special Guests and Speakers for the CJCI Convention 2016, click here.