SIERAAD 2017: A Review of the International Art Fair in Amsterdam

Article  /  BehindTheScenes   Exhibiting   Artists   Collecting
Published: 27.01.2018
Astrid Berens Astrid Berens
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All lovers of unusual jewellery, fashionistas, design aficionados and connoisseurs of art met again during SIERAAD ART FAIR in 2017. What a beautiful and successful fair it was, the 16th edition of SIERAAD International Art Fair! Each day we registered more visitors than in 2016. Never before were so many sales recorded, 86% of the visitors did actually go home with a beautiful piece of jewellery, and many times they didn’t stop at one purchase.

Once again our efforts to attract affluent visitors to the fair paid off. Apart from the direct purchases, many appointments were made for visits to the artists’ shops or studios and we hope this will have positive results. Collectors, but also an increasing number of gallerists come to Amsterdam from all corners of the world, often buying a two-day ticket. Because we are so busy we do not always stop to think about this, but how wonderful is it that so many visitors come from afar, especially for these 4 days. Our cooperation with Ster&Cultuurspots on TV and Radio resulted in a greater number of first-time visitors, so in 2018 we will definitely continue these spots on radio and tv and even increase the frequency.

Of course, they are what SIERAAD is all about!! Our objective was for SIERAAD to grow into an important presentation platform and that this has now materialized, at a national as well as at an international level, is obvious from the total number of participants. The atmosphere among these artists/designers, the large degree of collegiality and mutual solidarity is unique, we feel. The large variety makes the work of others a source of inspiration for many, resulting in many new designs and starting points next year. In short, SIERAAD motivates and inspires!!

2017 Sieraad visitors at stands
2017 Sieraad visitors at stands

Time and again it is apparent that the public sets great store by the introduction to different views on jewellery design, use of materials, techniques and inspiration, and meeting you and talking with you personally is of vital importance. It makes the purchase of your work so much more than just buying something: for the future wearer, it often is a special experience. The fact that people spent hours at SIERAAD speaks volumes. They took all the time in the world to decide what the jewellery budget they had saved up for was going to be spent on. For our participants, SIERAAD is a unique and not-to-be-missed sales and PR moment.

Highlights, 2017
* Book, Jewellery Matters, Marjan Unger and Suzanne van Leeuwen signed copies of their book.
* Opening by Mrs Hendrikje Crebolder, Director, Rijksmuseum Development & Media.
Jewellery Matters delivers a set of standards on ‘why jewellery matters’ and was written in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. In 2010, Marjan and Gerard Unger donated a selection of 500 Dutch twentieth-century jewellery pieces from their personal collection to the Rijksmuseum. Marjan Unger has put together a special presentation for SIERAAD Art Fair of jewellery pieces that were incorporated in the book, called Verwondering (Wonder). The presentation shows her lifelong fascination for jewellery. The jewellery will be presented in the context of publications by herself and by the Rijksmuseum. Verwondering could be seen in stand 116.

Marjan Unger signing copies of her book Jewellery Matters

It does not happen very often that we organize an exposition at SIERAAD that we already know will be talked about a great deal. The main exhibition of SIERAAD 2017 will show a survey of 15 years of groundbreaking work by an international group of students (Bachelor and Master) of the faculty of Jewellery and Gems of the Idar-Oberstein campus of Trier University, Germany. 

ROCKSTAR by an international group of students (Bachelor and Master) of the faculty of Jewellery and Gems of the Idar-Oberstein campus of Trier University, Germany.

Feedback from participants:

Rachel Butlin, UK, 1st time.

First of all, I would just like to say a huge thank you to Astrid and Maarten for an amazing show and time at Sieraad this year!.
Sieraad is a show I've always dreamed 
about being at and I was overjoyed this year to be accepted to exhibit. From day one the communication and organisation has been above and beyond and definitely made the lead up to the show a lot easier as a first-time overseas exhibitor. The show exceeded my expectations in every way from set up to visual appearance, visitors and response to my work. There was a wonderful mix of visitors from the affluent public to international galleries, bringing a wealth of interest to our stand. I feel that the stand appearance and layout gives great visual variety and allows each participant to create their own stamp on the show by choosing colour and layout, which definitely sets this apart from other shows I've done. It was such a great pleasure to meet, network and socialise with so many other participants, creating relationships I'm sure will last on into the future. I was overjoyed with the response of my work at the show and it was lovely to receive such lovely comments and feedback from the Dutch public.
Sieraad isn't just a show, its a wonderful experience full amazing exhibitors, warm smiles, stunning jewellery and
great visitors.
Once again I would like to thank you all for such a great experience and I
look forward to hopefully showing again with you soon.

Bruno Rocha, Portugal, 2nd time.
I experimented for the second time Sieraad, this one was very special for me after so many shows around the world this one was special, totally different from others. I´ve got the best prize I have had. 
I felt comfortable, I felt love for jewellery, I felt friendship between colleagues, we were there to enjoy, to show our work, to share ideas, there is no competition, ( I don´t like contests ).
And the visitors, well, amazing, the taste for jewellery is on them as well. The organization is perfect, nothing fails.
This contact with Astrid and Maarten make me felt that my adventure in the world of Jewelry makes sense. Thank you...and see you next year

Liisa Hashimoto, & Iris Saar Isaacs, InSync Design, Japan and Australia, 5th time.
I have been exhibiting at Sieraad for five years now, sharing the stand with Iris from Insync Design. Every year I enjoy meeting all the artists from different countries, and meeting every year is like a reunion. In Japan, unfortunately, contemporary jewelry is not known too much to the public, so it is a good opportunity for me to see other artists' works and exchanging information about the jewelry.
As to the customers coming to Sieraad, I find many of them coming back every year. And usually, they will kindly come back to our stand and enjoy looking at our new works of art. So, I try to show my works in a different way with different themes every year, always discussing with Iris how to display our stand.
By exhibiting at Sieraad, I have been learning and thinking about the way of showing and selling my pieces, combining one-off pieces and production lines. It is not easy, but it is a good experience for me. Exhibiting at Sieraad is always my pleasure every year.
/Liisa Hashimoto

Sieraad Art Fair is my favourite show of the year! I love returning each year to meet and engage with colleagues, friends and returning customers who collect my work as well as my regular wholesale buyers.
Sieraad is a beautiful event located in a stunning location in the magical city of Amsterdam… should I say more??

/Iris Saar Isaacs, InSync Design

Lucy Barna, Votive Designs, USA, 1st time.
This was my first time exhibiting at SIERAAD and to state it simply, my expectations were beyond exceeded. The show team at SIERAAD has a reputation of utmost professionalism and attention to details, and I found this reputation to be most accurate. Astrid and Martin were amazing at making sure every detail was noted, and that all aspects of the show were taken care of professionally and with a spirit of joy - from pre-show planning, marketing, site layout, artist support, event production, ease of payment processing for all the various currencies, personal engagement with each artist, and post-show follow-up. They clearly love what they do and it shows. 
I have exhibited at art shows all over the USA and wasn't sure exactly what to expect doing my first international show. I had many fears about the unknown, and the SIERAAD team happily guided me through any questions I had before and during the event to ensure I felt comfortable, excited and capable. The show experience itself felt like something of a dream come true-being in this beautiful old building, amongst so many of my esteemed peers in the art jewelry world. The level of "humanness" I felt throughout the event was most refreshing no air of arrogance, no sense of entitlement, no competition among us artists. We were all just there together, sharing in our love of making beautiful artistic pieces and showing them to the world. I believe this feeling was directly cultivated by the sincerity, energy and attention Astrid, Martin and their team put into this event on so many levels. 
This show is intentional. It helps elevate each artist, both individually and collectively, bridging borders, languages, currencies and artists' CVs.
Inspiration is everywhere! I left with a notebook full of new design ideas, and a list of emails of new friends from countries all over the world.
SIERAAD is truly a one-of-a-kind show, offering high-quality art jewelry in all its various forms. I am looking forward to returning again to share in the magic. 
Thanks for having me, Astrid and Martin!

2017 Sieraad visitors at stands