Caribbean newspaper writes about Sandy Baker

MAJA JEWELRY earns new fans with Sandy Baker Jewelry

Baltimore fashionistas of the luxe bohemian stripe know MAJA Jewelry. The collection of artisanal jewelry, textiles and housewares has a one-of-a-kind, graphic, cultural vibe that Sandy Baker Jewelry pieces fully contribute to. In fact, the store’s tagline, “A Nomadic Journey in Wearable and Collectible Artistry,” completely squares with Sandy Baker’s Wearable Art philosophy.
Mary Butler, owner of MAJA, is a striking woman with a full head of gray twists and braids, worn in an up-swept crown. Generally soft-spoken, the enthusiasm in her voice kicks up a notch when she talks about Sandy Baker jewelry.
“Once they put on the earrings on, they’re hooked,” she gushes. “[Customers] love the sculptural look and the light weight.”
Sandy’s signature use of negative space in and around the earrings, to allow the designs to visually play with the wearer’s neck and hair, is an added bonus.
An emerging sector of Sandy fans are the husbands and partners of these women, who often purchase complementary pieces to complete their favorite ladies’ looks. Even the most frugal customers splurge on Sandy Baker earrings. It’s easy enough to see why, Mary says. “These are no ordinary earrings here—they’re special!”

Pioneering Black Jewelry Designer Featured in “Masterpieces” Exhibit at Forbes Galleries

The American Jewelry Design Council (AJDC) will showcase 25 years of outstanding jewelry design at the prestigious Forbes Galleries in New York, opening September 21, 2013. The exhibition, “Masterpieces from the American Jewelry Design Council,” will dazzle museum visitors through February 22, 2014.

The AJDC promotes the appreciation of original fine jewelry design as Art. Participation in the exhibit is by invitation only and based upon having a reputation for distinctive style, creativity, originality and excellence in design. Sandy Baker, one of the foremost names in American fine and fashion jewelry, will show work in gold, silver and precious metal combinations.

Baker was the first African American admitted to membership in the AJDC. She was also the first African American to have her jewelry designs sold on television, and to exhibit goods of her own design and manufacture at national and international trade shows. “I remember when the only people of color were me and the security guards at shows,” she says.

Baker received her primary education in Manhattan, New York. She began creating in high school, gathering inspiration from Harlem to Greenwich Village, and studied her craft in college and post-graduate courses.

“What I saw in the marketplace was generally boring and unexciting, so when I entered the industry my goal was to create mini-sculptures that could be worn comfortably,” Baker reveals.

Baker’s pieces have been displayed at the Studio Museum in Harlem and can be found at the National Ornamental Museum, Carnegie Museums, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and other notable art institutions around the country.

Ms. Baker Goes To Dallas!

Carlyn Galerie, a nationally recognized retailer of fine American art, is featuring a curated selection of Sandy Baker jewelry in its annual AUTUMN JEWELS exhibit, opening Sept.14. The Dallas, Texas establishment was named one of Niche magazine’s TOP 100 American Galleries, and a”Top Spot to Shop” by D Magazine. Baker’s designs are modern, edgy, wearable mini-sculptures masquerading as jewelry. The exhibition runs through Oct.7. Sandy Baker having been designated among the TOP 100 American Jewelry Designers is delighted to be paired with another TOP 100.

You CAN Take It With You: SBJ at the O’Keeffe Museum

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, N.M. attracts art-lovers from all over the world come to study a master of American Modernism. While they can’t very well leave with a canvas tucked under their arm, visitors can take home the wearable art of Sandy Baker Jewelry, another modern American master.

Sandy was honored to be selected for the impeccably curated gift shop collection. Her jewelry is designed with the same care and thoughtfulness as a work of art. In fact, the idea of “wearable art” has always been a driving force in her designs. Janice Whrel, the shop’s purchasing agent, says Sandy’s work is always in-demand.

“We remain continually excited by how relevant and fresh her work has continued to be for nearly a decade,” Whrel adds.

Memphis Belles and Blacksmiths Heart Sandy Baker

Looking to find interesting and unusual art? There’s nothing quite like the National Ornamental Metal Museum. The Memphis, Tenn. museum is the only U.S. institution devoted exclusively to the collection, preservation and promotion of fine metal works. You can lose hours inside the museum’s collection of sculpture and art, but make sure you allot enough time for the museum store, as well.

The popular shop has built a reputation as a top gift destination in Memphis. “Our store has been known to put more than one tour bus behind schedule,” says Virginia Fisher, the store manager.

Sandy Baker jewelry makes up an important piece of the Metal Museum’s collection, which includes large forged or cast steel work and jewelry from all over the country. “We love the Sandy Baker jewelry at the Metal Museum,” Fisher says. “The greatest testament to the value of the Sandy Baker jewelry is that our blacksmith shop foreman, a heavily trained Metalsmith, has bought a number of pieces for his own mother.”

Literature lovers love the story behind Sandy Baker Jewelry

There are eight million stories in Iowa City. Actually, there are probably more. It’s home to the University of Iowa’s prestigious writer’s programs, which have trained literary luminaries such as John Irving, Tennessee Williams and W.P. Kinsella, and was named a “City of Literature” by UNESCO in 2008—one of only five cities in the world with this distinction.

Iowa City is also where the jewelry store Glassando is located, and perhaps it is the city’s innate love of literature that opens the door for conversations about the origins of the jewelry they carry there. “I love to tell people who stop in about how the jewelry was made, what materials were used, and the unique story about Sandy Baker,” says store owner Abby Restko.

Customers readily connect to Sandy’s history: A young artist in New York City, experimenting with popsicle sticks, aluminum foil, colored tape, paint and clay before graduating to sterling silver, dapping tools, hammers and a soldering torch. Sandy’s perseverance and dedication to craft led her from relative obscurity to the pages of Vogue, Glamour and Essence magazines, yet she has never stopped approaching each piece of jewelry as a mini sculpture.

Maybe one day soon, Sandy’s story will become immortalized in the Great American Novel. Hey, a girl can dream!

Sandy Baker Jewelry = Timeless Style!

Just off the shores of Crystal Lake, in the Northern Michigan village of Beulah, Sally Berlin brings together world-respected names in home and personal accessories in her store, Crystal Crate & Cargo. Naturally, the Sandy Baker Art Collection has been a staple in the charming shop since the ’80s.

Sally’s favorite thing is chatting with customers, and she has an eye for detail. Recently, a customer entered the store wearing striking jewelry. When asked their origin, the woman said she had bought them at an estate sale and was enjoying them very much. Sally immediately recognized the earrings, and told the woman “Those are vintage Sandy Baker.” Sally knows the line intimately, having spent much time at New York trade shows, hosting special SBJ in-store events and also personally wearing Sandy Baker jewelry herself. To confirm her discovery, Sally contacted Sandy, who confirmed that the design had indeed been created and manufactured 20 years ago.

The Crystal Crate & Cargo team marveled that the earrings hadn’t aged a bit and looked as fresh and exciting as when they were first made. “There was nothing dated about those earrings,” Sally Berlin said. “The keys to the success of the Sandy Baker jewelry line are quality and longevity.”

Win Free Sandy Baker Jewelry—just for our PA fans!

It’s a little-known fact that Steelers fans love Sandy Baker jewelry!
Or, at least, that Sandy’s wearable modern art has a strong following in Pittsburgh—there has to be some overlap, right? To acknowledge the brand’s popularity and consistent demand, the Carnegie Museums are doing a novel promotion: With every purchase of Sandy Baker jewelry through July 8 at the Museum of Art Store, patrons are eligible to win a Sandy Baker bracelet and earring set valued at $300. The pieces are on display in the store. Learn more about the promotion in the In Store column of CARNEGIE Magazine’s Summer 2013 issue.

SBJ’s Fastest-Growing Fan Base May Shock You

Just Tantau, a specialty jewelry and gift shop in Venice Beach, Calif., is known as an interesting place with interesting pieces. Well-loved for the upscale yet unpretentious vibe, Carol Tantau and her team have carried the Sandy Baker Art Collection for over a decade, doing an exemplary job of cultivating a clientele that follows and collects Sandy Baker jewelry. Tantau knows SBJ’s fan base, and says that it’s comprised of a surprising number of MEN. “Men get Sandy Baker designs,” says Lily, the shop manager. “They are comfortable making their own selections for their favorite women. They seem to relate to the bold, uncluttered designs.” Whatever the gender, Sandy Baker is glad to welcome new members to her tribe and will continue creating new designs that appeal to their modern sensibilities.