My friend, Amanda, asked me that the other day in reference to my business and my ten years. I will begin my answer by saying it's the same and completely different. My ultimate goal has always been to be able to make work every day and this remains true, for the most part. I'm not able to make work every day now because my business is no longer just about making jewelry. It's also about teaching, lecturing, and lots of marketing. A better way of describing my ultimate goal now is to keep making jewelry, which I definitely have done and continue to do.
When I started my business in 2002 I just wanted to make great jewelry. I started selling it in a few places and the number grew over time. Then I wanted to sell it in as many places as I could and support myself. I also wanted to be in shows, get published, and make a career for myself. I worked a day-job and made jewelry in the evenings and on the weekends. I applied to everything and got rejected from a lot. I took classes when I could and went to symposiums, guild meetings, and gallery openings. I read Metalsmith magazine and bought books. And, I made work every day.
I still do (or try to do) all of those things today along with additional related work as I mentioned above. I also communicate with my audience as much as I can in the form of near daily blogging and Facebook posts, I volunteer for SNAG on the Exhibitions Committee, I mentor, and I write for books on occasion. My new goals are to travel for my work every year, do more residencies, and to curate more exhibitions.
The images you see here are examples of some of the one-of-a-kind jewelry I've made since 2002. I think it's obvious to me how the work is different from pieces I made more recently, but there are subtle similarities as well.
So now ten years later I make the best jewelry I can as much as I can while complementing my studio practice with other worthwhile, related pursuits. They feed each other and they balance each other. I feel pretty fortunate to have my business the way it is now and look forward to seeing how it changes in the future.
Thanks for reading