Professional Jeweler Archive: The Jeweler as Art Gallery

April 2005

The Store | Image

The Jeweler as Art Gallery

Brinsmaids presents Michael Good in a promotion that draws attention to his art

By Walter Sperr

Jeweler Scott Cusson and sculptor and jewelry designer Michael Good have known each other for years. Despite their friendship, Cusson didn’t carry Good’s jewelry in his well-known jewelry store, Brinsmaids, in New Canaan, CT. Last fall, that changed in a dramatic and profitable turnabout for jeweler and designer.

Cusson, Good and Good’s daughter, Avi, who markets the Michael Good jewelry line, agreed to use Brinsmaids as the platform from which to launch Good’s brass sculptures and jewelry featuring his signature anticlastic raising techniques. Good is most famous for working in gold, so the brass collection is a new direction.

“We decided to go all out and really get behind Michael’s entire body of work – sculpture and jewelry – in a big way,” says Cusson. “It was something different and out of the ordinary, so we thought people would be intrigued.”

The store’s windows and the back wall were devoted to a significant portion of Good’s body of work. Curved hyperbolic parabola shapes as large as 2 feet to 3 feet in diameter were positioned and lighted to draw customer attention. The innovative merchandising strategy paid off. “It was a bit of a surprise for our traditional customers, however, they quickly warmed to the concept and enjoyed seeing a new and innovative approach,” says Cusson. “This event effectively communicated the sense of a gallery show, but without that stuffy gallery edge. It was a very customer-friendly, welcoming and whimsical presentation.”

Cusson and Good created an invitation and mailed it to customers who follow Good’s work in New England and as far away as Pennsylvania. Cusson also contacted the local media. The event opened with an evening reception for guests and friends, followed the next day by a personal appearance by the artist.

“It was fun for us and brought in a whole new group of customers – that’s what made it so worthwhile,” says Cusson. “Economically, it was very successful, and it garnered added visibility and attention for Michael and the store. When you do something that’s out of the norm, customers and the media pay attention.”

Michael Good calls it a real partnership between jeweler and designer. “That’s what made it work so well,” he says. “Scott was willing to take a risk and do something extraordinary. He took a chance and showcased my work; he placed the spotlight on me in a truly significant way. That’s all too rare these days.”

Brinsmaids has embraced a museum-like showcase strategy with other jewelry designers as well, including Whitney Boin, Judith Ripka, Steven Kretchmer, John Hardy, Robert Lee Morris, Henry Dunay, Lisa Jenks and others. The presentation of jewelry in 3-ft.-by-2-ft. museum cubes enables each designer’s work to stand out individually.

“The designs cover a broad range of styles,” says Cusson. “From classic and traditional to avant-garde, we try to have something for every customer’s taste.” Maintaining a balance is essential. “Brinsmaids itself is a blend between the guild and gallery approach,” he adds. “We work to maintain a constantly evolving fresh approach that is creative and evocative.”

Scott Cusson of Brinsmaids, New Canaan, CT, devotes the back wall of his store to a gallery-like presentation of a new brass sculpture and jewelry line by Michael Good, an award-winning designer known for his anticlastic raising technique. The jeweler and designer say the strategy benefited them both and intrigued customers.

Source: The International Jewelry Design Guild, an organization of 73 designer jewelers that promotes awareness of the value and artistry of fine designer jewelry. For information, visit

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications