Rent A Necklace - Marije Geursen explores new markets for art jewellery

Interview  /  BehindTheScenes   Debates
Published: 14.11.2014
Rent A Necklace - Marije Geursen explores new markets for art jewellery.
Sanna Svedestedt
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Rent A Necklace gives wearers of art jewellery the possibility to pick and choose a new conversation piece for every social event by renting insteaid of buying. Can renting art jewellery be an alternative for the market?  Founder and curator Marije Geursen explains her idea behind the concept.
Please tell us a little about the idea to start Rent a Necklace
I started Rent A Necklace because I think there is a bit of a problem: There are too many beautiful jewellery designs waiting for a new owner in galleries and in studio’s of jewellery designers tucked away in boxes and cupboards. This is a reach out to (new) wearers*. With renting out necklaces I think we, as designers, have to open the door to get your work to see the daylight and let the story behind the design and craft be told. We all profit from that, the wearers and makers.
*(I do not call them consumers because consuming is too aggressive. I think wearer is more suitable for people who love to wear and promote and care for handcrafted jewellery. I see them more as patrons of the jewellery world.)
 What are the criteria for the curated selection of necklaces?
 I am looking for pieces that are in the category ‘expensive’, big and/or with a strong supporting concept. And I am looking to the Rent A Necklace collection as a whole, and try to make sure that there is a difference between all the necklaces. I am striving towards variety.
 Can an artist that wants to participate contact you with suggestions?
 I like to keep it small at the moment, as I am in the startup phase and still fine tuning the idea. But artist already do! I have a list of people wanting to participate. On a social level I think my initiative can be understood as a suggestion for others to start renting out work themselves to their own fans.
How does Rent a Necklace impact on the current art jewellery field?
 My experience so far is that there is a huge need of working together. The tendency to unit and do things collectively is the thing that struck me most. Even gallery owners are interested in the concept of not selling but creating a “wearing opportunity” for their customers.
 What obstacles have you encountered? 
Getting in contact with a new group of renters is a lot of work. This takes time. Magazines and glossy’s are not that free anymore, they do not want to publish (yet) because they want to obtain a good relationship with their advertisers, the big jewellery companies.
You recently presented the selection of necklaces for rent during Sieraad, can you tell us about that experience?
Well this was a wonderful experience for me! It was nice to see positive reactions of the visitors. It is such a good fair with a lot of international participants, academies and a good bi-annual contest. It is a great network opportunity.
What was your goal with participating in Sieraad?
I wanted to get in contact with the wearers and to launch the idea of renting jewellery.

 Can you tell a little about how the event was organized and what kind of response you got during the fair?

 Well the organization is so good, they really think about the fair as a platform. The aim is to show the visitors what the world of (contemporary) jewellery is making and doing. There are good national and international publications.
The responses I got were positive. The people are really interested in the concept as well as the aesthetics of jewellery. Now I feel that this may become a big success!
How do you predict the developments of contemporary art jewellery?
The Royal Academy of Antwerp collaborated with the German steel industry. They had an exhibition which was exhibited at Sieraad. I think there will be more collaboration like this, not only from an educational point of view.  Borders disappear, also because of Facebook, our individual studios are all linked in this way. This must result in new collaborations in making but also in selling or projects like Rent a Necklace.

About the curator:
Marije Geursen is an independent jewellery designer based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Marije Geursen is trained at Schoonhoven Technical Goldsmithing School and at the Rietveld Academy, Sculpture Department. She has been designing her own collections for over ten years, which she sells in 20 selected jewellery galleries worldwide and via her own website

Visit Rent a Necklace for more information