“Titles do not give a just idea of things; were it otherwise, the work would be superfluous.” Gustave Courbet
“To name something is to value it. Names and labels allow us to organize our loves, our loyalties, and our world. I’ve committed so much time to bringing these images forth, it would be irresponsible of me to not Christen them and provide them another means for communicating their essence.” Jeffery T. Baker



The number of jewellers who title their work is growing, but there are still many holdouts. In an attempt to wrangle the Untitled masses into the fold, I present the following practical and emotional rationales:



Titles convey that an item is one-of-a-kind.
Titles help you distinguish one piece from another.
Titles clarify what piece you are talking about.
Titles can assert the function of a form.
Titles can describe a process.
Titles can highlight a material.
Titles can establish a context.
Titles can set a mood.
Titles can communicate a vision.
Titles can create yet another level of meaning.
Titles can bring resolution to your process.
Titles make it easier to organize and track your inventory.
Titles show up in search engines.
Titles can trigger new projects and directions.
Titles are good exercise for your brain.
Titles are messages you can send to your viewers.
Titles create a more active viewing experience.
Titles are one of the first things a viewer looks at.
Titles are cause for further contemplation.
Titles open the door to meaning.
Titles help viewers, who may not know where to begin, relate to your art.
Titles make viewers linger longer.
Titles make artists more approachable.
Titles tell your story and give a little insight into your world.
Titles make you look smarter.
Titles reinforce your professionalism.
Titles show that you care about your work.
Titles make your jewellery seem complete.
Titles capture the attention of buyers.
Titles help people remember the particular piece of jewellery they are attracted to.
Titles rarely alienate your viewers.
Titles increase the perceived significance of a piece of jewellery.
Titles strengthen people’s attachment to their jewellery.
Titles speak for you when you can’t.
Titles enlighten jurors.
Titles are convenient for analyzing, reviewing, and addressing jewellery.
Titles facilitate more (and more accurate) discussions about your work.
Titles make it easier for writers to write about your jewellery.
Titles look great in books and catalogues.
Titles don’t have to say everything, but they should say something.
Titles are not permanent.
Titles can be changed.

Marthe Le Van

Marthe Le Van is jewelry and metals editor for Lark Crafts. Since 2000, she has written, edited, juried, or curated more than 40 books. Upcoming publications include Ring A Day, 21st Century Jewelry, 30-Minute Rings, and Carles Codina’s Color, Texture & Casting for Jewelers. Marthe has edited all jewelry books in Lark’s popular “500” series. She has curated Ring A Day, 500 Wedding Rings, and Masters: Gold. Marthe is a member of the Art Jewelry Forum and the Society of North American Goldsmiths.

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