C. Jere Sculptures
C. Jere sculptures are sculptures made and marketed by the corporation Artisan House under the nom de plume, C. Jere.
C. Jere is a metalwork artist of wall sculptures and household accessories.
C. Jere works are made and marketed by the corporation Artisan House. Curtis Jere is a compound nom-de-plume of artists Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels - the two founders combined pieces of their own names to create the C. Jere signature.
Modernism magazine interviewed Jerry Fels shortly before his death in October 2008. According to the resulting article in the Spring 2007 issue of Modernism magazine page 116, the company was founded in 1963 by Fels and his brother-in-law Curtis (Kurt) Freiler. Freiler was the production chief and Fels was head of design. Their goal was to produce "gallery-quality art for the masses".
Prior to the establishment of Artisan House, the partners built a costume jewellery business, selling work under the names Renoir and Matisse, which employed around 300 people at one point. Kurt and Jerry sold Artisan House in 1972. The company still produces metal sculptures including reintroductions of popular mid-century designs. Artisan House sculptures are no longer made in California as production went overseas to China in 2003.
Writer Mitchell Owens wrote a two page article on the history of C. Jere for the November 2010 issue of Elle Decor. In it he states: "Today those pieces are attracting the admiration of leading dealers in vintage chic".
He goes on to say that after launching in 1964 Jere sculptures were "distributed by Raymor, a cutting edge studio in New York City, and retailed at Gump's in San Francisco and other high quality emporiums". He also reported that "Under Freiler's meticulous direction, the workers - a number of whom were minorities or handicapped - sheared, crimped, torched, and welded brass, copper, and other metals before coating them with luminous patinas."
C. Jere works range from representational to highly abstract. Some of the older techniques, such as enamelling, using resin, and the bronzes, haven't been used in decades.
Brass Seagulls wall sculpture, 1980; Signed and dated; 20'' x 48'' x 6'': $1,300 at Rago Arts and Auction Center in April 2011
Wall sculpture, hand-crafted metal by C. Jere. American, circa 1970s. 40.5" x 26.5": $1,200 at Roland New York in February 2012
C. Jere Raindrops wall sculpture, chromed metal disks and half-globes, original finish, signed with "C. Jere 1971", 34"w x 8"d x 22"h: $1,100 at Treadway Gallery in March 2012
Large C. Jere tree sculpture, rounded chrome petals, black stem over a wood block base with chrome plate to surface, original finish, signed with metal plaque on base "C. Jere 74", 21"dia x 47": $900 at Treadway Gallery in March 2012
C. Jere sculpture, 1981, female figure in brass (pictured), supported by a marble base, signed and dated, overall: 15.5"w x 24"h: $850 at Treadway Gallery in December 2010.