Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a little virtual exhibition

here are some images of the jewelry i am taking with me to acc. some of the work is older and some of it is new. most of the time i feel pretty good about the entire group, but i do have some occasional doubts - is it any good? is it cohesive? do i have enough? typical. the pieces you see here are my line drawings and my newer stateline/shallow shell pieces. i am excited to get back to penland after acc to move forward with this work!
thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

acc seachlight jeweler spotlight

i will be leaving for the acc searchlight show in baltimore tomorrow. i thought i would share some images and info about the other metalsmith/jewelers who will also be at the show. i am eager to meet them and see their work in person. we all have different styles, use varying materials, and i think we will complement each other nicely.

jennaca davies works with enamels, paper, and tyvek (see rings above), layering form and playing with pattern and shadow.

stacey lee webber manipulates coins, meticulously cutting out silhouette imagery to cast money in a whole new light.
maya kini uses different metals, enamel, and other more delicate materials to create beautiful studies of mundane objects, elevating them to the precious, like this bronze balloon and 22K gold funnel.

i will try to blog while i am at the might also like to visit green jeans blog. amy shaw, the owner of green jeans in brooklyn, created the space/display for searchlight this year.

thanks for reading.

Friday, February 20, 2009

buyers market, booth pictures and then that's it on that subject

here's my booth, a simplified version of the august show. it took me no time to set up or take down. thanks to joanna gollberg for loaning me her carpet, tables, and lights...she saved me so much money!

thanks for reading.

buyers market, the brighter side

now, on to the brighter side of the buyers market (because there is only so long i can dwell on the negative)...yes, the show was terrible, but it is what it is. i learned some things and got some great experience. and, it just means i will work harder and be more creative over the coming months and years. these kinds of tough experiences can be good for that. what really made the show was my time with the other artists. i met some great people and got to talk with others whom i've met before. it was fun to see everyone, catch-up, commiserate, talk shop, get dinner, and so on. here's a list and a little shout-out to many of the great people i'm talking about:
jane d'arensbourg
erica stankwytch bailey
amber mahler/mani designs
grant searcey/searcey designs
sarah graham
todd reed
devienna anggraini/DAmetals
amy bruml/bruml designs
kathy frey
rhonda & elijah wyman/figs and ginger
deborah bushinski/tessoro
liz mathews
alisa miller
ali dryer/pistol designs
nora dougherty
frances smersh/smersh design jewelry
danielle miller
krista gorrell/slim pik'en design

they all provided excellent conversation, sparkling humor, great advice, pep talks...and they all design and make some fantastic work. i hope you will take some time to visit their websites.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

buyers market report, in all honesty

the buyers market of american craft was terrible for me. i did not get any orders. none. i was shocked. i went there with reasonable and low expectations. i just wanted to make my expenses back which would have meant 1 or 2 orders a day at my minimum. after day 2 passed with nothing, i knew something was very wrong. i knew the show could be bad, but i did not expect this. there weren't very many buyers present, (20-30 minutes would pass without anyone in the aisles), many artists canceled or went on sabbatical (as i heard it, the most ever in the history of the show), and many artists i spoke with got little to no orders, like myself. several of the people around me got orders, some even seemed to do ok, but many of the orders they got were reorders from regular galleries for the same pieces ordered last year, just in smaller quantities. the buyers weren't buying anything new, they weren't taking any risks, and they were being very conservative. (and why wouldn't they?!)

i had several people look at my work and comment on how "beautiful" certain pieces were, how some were "such great designs"...then they would say "i hope you have a good show" and walk away. it was discouraging and defeating. i found myself more angry at the end of the day than anything else. then the next morning i would head to the show with a renewed attitude and a smile on my face. but, by 3pm the anger would set in. it's hard to sit there for 5 days, doing nothing, selling nothing, barely speaking to any's grueling.

so...i will not apply to this show next year or the year after that for two reasons - 1.) i want to wait for the economy to improve before i take another risk like this. i just can't afford the lost money, time, and psychological/emotional toll. 2.) i also question whether or not the buyers market is the appropriate venue for my style of jewelry. perhaps i need to explore other shows, like pool or thread. but, with that said and with number 1 in mind, i will not apply to any other shows until the economy improves.

(please keep in mind that this is my perspective and my thoughts on what happened to me and what i observed happening to others. i'm guessing there were people who had better experiences than i did and may disagree with me on certain points.)

i will comment on the brighter side later.

thanks for reading.

p.s. the above picture is of the divine lorraine hotel which i drove by every morning on my way to the show. it's a gorgeous building, too bad it's abandoned.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

heading home

i am just about to leave philly after the buyers market show. i'm glad i have 10 hours to think about what happened over the last week. there is a lot to process. i'll be posting this week...

thanks for reading.

Friday, February 13, 2009

pewter diversions

i just got this picture of a pewter bowl, cup, and spoon that i made in a pewter holloware class in college. i made the set for my friend beckett who was a baby at the time. the instructor of the class was michael gayk who was a grad student. michael sent the picture to me today and it was a pleasant surprise. he also told me that he uses the image in his student work for his cv, also a very nice surprise. thanks, mike! i also made these salt and pepper shakers.
thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

the set up

i set up my booth yesterday at the buyers market of american craft. i unloaded my car at 1 and got started with my booth about 40 minutes later. i think i finished around 4:30 and left feeling good but also feeling like i did something wrong. it seemed a little too easy this time around. i hope i find everything still standing when i get there later today! the jewelry preview is today from 4-7 and i'll be in booth #623.
thanks for reading.

Monday, February 9, 2009

philly bound

i am off to philadelphia this morning to attend the buyers market of american craft. i packed the car on saturday, i've got my ipod ready, and a big box of snacks. the drive is about 10 hours and i've never driven this far alone. i'm looking forward to it and having a new skill under my belt. i hope to drive the whole thing in one day so i can have tomorrow to just lay-low and do some business on the computer. my set-up is wednesday and then the show starts for all us jewelers thursday evening. i'll post more as it unfolds...

also, i wanted to mention my taboo studio opening this friday, february 13 form 6-8pm. if you live in the san diego area please check it out for me.

one and only
new jewelry by clara ines arana, megan auman, pat flynn, deanna jacobsen, christina y. smith, amy tavern and micki whelan
opening reception 2/13 from 6-8pm
show runs through 3/22

thanks for reading.

Friday, February 6, 2009

guest star friday #38...janine berben

coral brooch

i was very happy to find today's guest star friday last night as i was searching the internets for something new. i found janine berben on flickr through one of my contacts. janine makes wonderful felted jewelry in soft colors and lovely organic forms. they are also a bit on the creepy side which i like very much.

fungus collier and ring

you can also find janine at her blog.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

something new...part 2

i've been working on some new ideas since moving to penland. i've been thinking about lines and different ways they come together, especially borders and other outlines. when i was flying a lot in the fall for my west coast trunk show tour i became increasingly fascinated by the outlines of farmland and the meandering patterns of roads. also, around election time, i looked at the blue and red map of the u.s. a lot and really began noticing the shapes of the states. i think between my birds eye view from the plane and that map, these shapes developed.

as i am sure many of you can relate, i have to be thriftier than usual right now. i had all these little circles in my scrap bin that were the insides of my flat egg shapes. instead of recycling them, i just started cutting them up. what came from that light bulb moment are these shallow domes. all this work is for the acc searchlight show at the end of the month. i will also be bringing lots of line drawing pieces.
thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

supermarket and lucky magazine

my very thin yellow gold rings made it into a little blurb in this month's lucky magazine as part of a feature on supermarket and other online hot spots for shopping. unfortunately, the picture is barely visible and my name is not included even though they do refer to the rings in the write-up ("dainty gold stacking rings"). press is so strange sometimes. strange but good, don't get me wrong.

can you see them?

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

congratulations, warm earrings!

my warm earrings (this month's jewelry of the month) made it into 30 minute earrings! they are very happy.

30 minute earrings,
an upcoming lark books publication, is a how-to book that will include some 50 different easy-to-make-fast earrings. sounds like fun to me.

thanks for reading.

buyers market of american craft revisited

i am attending the buyers market of american craft next week. this will be my second go after my first experience there in august 2008. preparations this time around have been completely different, easier, cheaper, quicker. i had to create my booth from scratch last year but this year all i had to do was repaint my earrings stands. (they got a little beat-up during my west coast trunk show tour). i'm scaling back a little on the display, too. after my 4 show tour in the fall, i figured out a more streamlined approach. i'm using the same props for the most part, minus a few. most of my collection items are already made this time. i only spent a day or two making the missing pieces. i still have one necklace to make and two of my very thin gold rings. it's still funny to me how little room my inventory takes up. its all in these boxes!
finally, all my printed materials (wholesale line sheet, contract, postcards, photos, etc.) are done with a few needing a little update. i just need to make copies of some of those. i am really appreciating all the hard work i did nine months ago right now as well as the lists and notes i made during the show. they have made things so much easier.

oh, one more thing...the february show is longer - 4 days instead of 3 and in addition there is a jewelry preview. it seems a little grueling to me as i don't have much experience with shows like this. even though the buyers market is only open to retailers and not to the general public, here is the info:

2/12 jewelry preview 4-7
2/13 show opens 10-6
2/14 10-6
2/15 10-6
2/16 10-3

i think i'll go back a reread all my posts from last year's show now.

thanks for reading.

Monday, February 2, 2009

happy blogiversary to me

my blog turned one recently and i have to say it's been really fun and a great challenge for me to write my posts over the past year. i remember thinking i would never have a blog, but now i am so glad i do. i've learned a lot about my work and the work of others, why i make jewelry, and why i love it all so much, just from writing about it regularly.

to celebrate and mark the occasion i pulled together a list of my absolute favorite jewelry sites i found over the last 365 days to share with all of you. this list includes 25 of my favorite jewelers, jewelry designers, galleries, blogs, and shopping sites. i like them for a variety of reasons, the work mostly, but also the design and functionality of the site they are:

22 design studio
edith bellod
gallery loupe
erie basin
ela bauer
fingers gallery
anna lorich
rachel weatherall
jane yarborough jewelry
marianne anderson
kathryn bentley jewelry
klaus burgel
tony duquette
iggy & lou lou
barking irons
papa stour
erica weiner
jacqueline ryan
nutre arayavanish
caroline gore
katy hackney
lina peterson
christine kaltoft
aesthetic outburst

i also want to mention something new i will begin with my sophomore effort this year and that's to write about a favorite artist each month who is not a jeweler. i don't think i'll have a set time for this new feature. i'll just choose someone and write when i'm ready.

thanks for reading over the past year.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

february jewelry of the month

for february's jewelry of the month i made these warm earrings to help us all get through the cold. the earrings are constructed of covered buttons, woven gray wool, and sterling silver findings. i love making covered buttons and enjoy using them in different ways, not just as buttons. i think my warm earrings are the perfect thing for this time of the year.

i made 6 pairs and they measure about 2" long x 1" wide.

the warm earrings are $42 a pair and each comes with a numbered and signed card.

you can read more about jewelry of the month here.

to join my mailing list to received advance notice and buying power, please visit my website here to sign up.

thanks for reading.