After two days of drenching rains and violent storms in Milwaukee, today’s sunny, dry and warm weather was the perfect setting for a visit to the 47th Annual Lakefront Festival of the Arts. The last time I visited the festival it was located in Veterans Park; I much prefer the new location on the front patio of the museum itself. The whole event is under tents (with panels of skylights to let in great natural light) and gone are the days of tromping through mud, straw and dust.
Not surprisingly, I gravitated towards the jewelry and I’m happy to say that I now have a number of new designers to add to my “favorites” list. Top amongst those would probably be Marjorie Shachnow whose organic forms, eye for finishes and subtle “bling” is truly elegant, and Klaus and Susan Spies for their innovative designs featuring fabulous gemstones and wonderful finishes. I was also taken by the work of John and Carolyn Ruff whose architectural tourmaline pendants, and pieces incorporating the ancient technique of Mokume Gane caught my eye. Marjorie, Klaus, and John and Carolyn Ruff were also extremely gracious in talking with me about their work and techniques.
In addition, the jewelry of Thomas McGurrin, Janice Ho, and Jonathan Rutledge shouldn’t be missed. Lastly, Connie Verrusio’s designs incorporating found objects (watch faces, nuts, bolts, etc.) was totally fun and inspiring in its own way.
The Lakefront Festival of the Arts continues today until 7 p.m. and will be open tomorrow from 10-5 p.m.