"the truth about Curtis Jere'...C. Jere'... Curtis Jere"
I've been curious about the mysterious C. Jere. The quality of the metal work is all over the map;
'boy running with balloon' at JC Penny's, etc.
Some of the more interesting wall pieces fetch some high prices on e-bay.
I've not ever wanted one, but saw a pair of bookends this morning...
Found this info on a forum while searching.
(i've added the link to the forum discussion below)


Curtis Jere' is a compound non-de-plume for a design group formed and directed by Jerry Fels for their company Artisan House . The company was formed by Jerry Fels and Curtis Freiler and has since been sold and resold.
Prior to Artisan House, the partners built a costume jewelry business selling work under the names Renoir and Matisse which employed around 300 people at one point.
Jerry Fels specialized in design and sales, Mr Freiler ran production. Both men are still quite alive.
A number of different artists contributed designs that were produced under the C. Jere' name.
Hope this helps clear things up
.....Peter Fels

>the JERE of Curtis Jere is VERY MUCH ALIVE
>---living as JERRY FELS.
>he is my great uncle. ... living in California
>his son, peter fels, is also a sculpter...


There is NO C Jere'...
It's the fictional name signed on the art produced by Artisan House, a company co-founded by my father Jerry Fels and uncle Kurt Freiler.
They sold the company years ago.
Kurt did the production and was extremely facile.
My father did design, sales, etc. After the company grew large enough, father began to bring in and direct other contributing artists.
Jerry Fels passed on ,on the 5th of November, 07 after a short illness. He had a long, full and actively productive life. He was a man of determination,talent and unusual integrity.
And...he made a hole on 1 golfing in his last, 90th year! Can't help but be proud of him.

I write this because;
We are in the process of liquidating his art collection, sadly.
There are some early Artisan House pieces.
There are a number of pieces that were submitted by artists to Artisan House for consideration by for incorporation into the line.
There are a number of prototypes made in house, not all of them were later actually produced...including castings in aluminum alloy and bronze...mostly finished, mounted sculptures.
There is also his personal collection of art in general...(some of which has already gone to the Bonham & Butterfield auction house) ....including paintings ( some by my parents), prints and a number of figure studies my father had done over the years.
Any guidance you might offer as to how sell these pieces, in the best possible way ,would certainly be appreciated.

in sadness...peter fels

> http://www.peterfels.com

posted by rockland
posted by rockland
My sympathies on the loss of your father
I have just discovered your fathers work in Renoir & Matisse copper jewelry. I am not an artist whatsoever, but instantly fell in love with Jerry Fels design. I have just purchased Renoir leaf pattern necklace, bracelet and earring set. I love this more than any other piece of jewelry, except of course for my wedding ring.

I am glad to hear, he lead a full and rewarding life, and including the heartfelt message from his son. I didn't even know my father and would of loved to have had one period especially one I could of been proud of like you. As he mastered his craft, I am sure he mastered his upbringing of his children, in becoming the very best that you can be.
posted by Hineybutt
I have a question about a scupture...
I recently acquired the sculpture pictured above ("gold" Raindrops) the problem is; it is starting to rust how can I stop or prevent this? Thank you for reading this.
posted by SMGSwank (USA)
To prevent oxidation of the brass,
I think you'd have to clearcoat the sculpture. That'll have some effect -- probably negative -- on the value of the piece, and of course the clear paint will crack when you bend any of the wires.

Maybe just resign yourself to carefully cleaning and polishing the thing periodically? Or just learn to appreciate the "patina"?

Artisan House recently reissued the sculpture for Jonathan Adler; it's available in "antiqued" brass as well as chrome, but I doubt that "antiqued" means "rusted"... I wonder whether they do anything to those new sculptures to keep the brass from oxidizing. Might be worth a call to ask about care and cleaning:

Artisan House - 203 563-0017
customerservice at artisanhouse.com

posted by fastfwd (USA)
That is the one, thank you for your response. I think I continue to lightly clean, the patina is beautiful. Thank you again.
posted by SMGSwank (USA)
How to clean
I have a late 60's Curtis jere custom wall lamp, it is one-of-a-kind. It is beautiful, lots of colors, but it is dark, and doesn't have the same shine as the more famous raindrop pieces though it is from that era and features and has more organic look. Like a log full of mushrooms.

I intend to sell it but I want to give it a cleaning and general polish up. It looks like it was copper and steel with enameling and some kinda shiny gold liquid painted onto some of the mushrooms.

what should I be using to clean it???polish? should I polish each metal type with something different?
posted by mattyluv
edited on 13-Dec-10 08:44 AM  [edit]
If you are selling it DO NOT TOUCH IT!!! any restoration you may do could alter the price.

People always sand down or refinish items just before they sell only tofind out the work they have done has wiped hundreds of the price.
posted by Arthur Sixpence
edited on 13-Dec-10 01:07 PM  [edit]
Yeah, don't even CONSIDER going at it with metal polish!
People like patinas on old metal.

You may THINK that polishing would be furthering your aim to successfully sell it ("all bright an' shiny, like new!"), but you'd actually be shooting yourself in the foot. Fifty years of patina doesn't happen overnight; once it's gone, it's gone.

Dust it with a rag if you're ashamed of the cobwebs. Do nothing else to it.
posted by william-holden-caulfield (FREEDONIA)
edited on 14-Dec-10 07:13 AM  [edit]
C.Jeré 1980 to 2011: BJ Keith
Jerry Fels was my mother's mentor and very close friend and she his protogé. He brought her into the Artisan House in 1980 with her first sculpture, a can opener for the Gourmet Kitchen line. From there, she quickly moved into non-objective Fine Art metal sculpture. She remained close friends with Jerry Fels until he passed, and he came to California to her housewarming of the new home she designed in either 2008 or 09 (can't remember). Since 1980, my mother, BJ Keith did 90% of the artwork/metal sculptures bearing the C.Jeré name at Artisan House. Please refer to my blog for her story. (Go back to my blog posts starting in 2008. Jerry Fels remains forever dear to my mother in spirit and inspiration.

posted by Linnie
edited on 19-Jul-12 08:49 PM  [edit]
bought what is obviously a C. Jere today. However, I cannot find a signature. Are all of them marked? It came out of an older house so I cannot think it's a fake?
posted by waffle
I found in ANOTHER Design Addict thread (it's all here....somewhere...) that about 1/2 of them were unsigned.
posted by waffle
I wouldn't say that it's obv...
I wouldn't say that it's obvious that that one's a C. Jere, I'd actually guess that it's probably not, it seems a touch sparse. I wouldn't call it a "fake" either though, it's just a freeform metal wall sculpture.

Artisan House is very good quality construction-wise, though not always concept-wise; they make conceptually tacky representative "theme" type pieces too, like sandals, martini glasses, etc.
posted by objectworship
thanks for the response
well, I did compare it to other pieces and found a couple of near identical, right down to the dimensions, welds, etc. These were attributed to Jere and sold as such.

I think that the piece is at an angle makes it look more sparse

Not a huge fan I must say. I do have a metal sculpture over my fireplace but it is a Marc Creates, not a Jere.

here's a link for a twin for instance
posted by waffle
edited on 31-May-13 12:12 AM  [edit]
Jere Golden Gate signed and dated 1971
I just bought a Golden Gate sculpture by C Jere at a garage sale. It is dated 1971. I have found it online priced from $10 to $450. Very confused. Does the date of the piece add anything to its value or history?
posted by Crandall
The price range heavily depends on the style of the bridge, dimensions, condition, and age together.
posted by onegroovydude

Aardewerk en Zo

An interactive place to share your questions and reflections about
modern & post-modern design.

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