Wednesday, September 30, 2009

my big news

just about a week ago i emailed my fall newsletter and announced that i will be taking an indefinite hiatus from my collections while i pursue my one-of-a-kind studio jewelry here at penland. this will begin at the end of january. i got some sincere and much appreciated words of support and excitement from lots of people which made me feel even better about my decision. (thanks to all of you!) i also announced my 5 year online anniversary and holiday sale which begins on november 23. if you haven't heard this news, here are a few excerpts from my newsletter:

"my first summer as a penland resident artist is over and i am looking forward to the much quieter seasons ahead. the last couple of months have been intense and have brought about a great deal of change for me and my work. this residency is my time for exploration and contemplation and i must take advantage. i have decided to take an indefinite hiatus from my collections and will not be introducing any new work next spring as i usually do each year. instead, i will retire my collections altogether. i know this may come as a surprise; it was definitely not an easy decision to come to, but i know now is the right time to take such a risk. additionally, i will be taking a break from shows and exhibitions and jewelry of the month. i have loved bringing interesting and affordable designs to you over the past 5 years. it has been such a pleasure and i thank you for all your business and support.

in other big news, this october marks my 5 year online anniversary. 5 years ago i introduced my website and was featured in lucky magazine which was the biggest kick for my work and my business. my website and my jewelry have evolved over the years and i have enjoyed it all very much, but the time has come to say goodbye for now.

starting november 23 please join me in celebrating the last 5 years. not only will all collection pieces be 25% off but i will also offer FREE SHIPPING on all orders, EXTRA DISCOUNTS on select items including some retired items, and a FREE PLASTIC EGG NECKLACE (you get to choose the color) with all orders of $75 or more. i really want to say thanks in a big way to all of you and it is my pleasure to offer these special deals.

the celebration and sale will end on January 31 and my egg and bean, steel and gold, and preface collections will disappear from my website. my etsy and supermarket shops will also disappear. i will always honor repairs on collection items you have purchased over the years and will be happy to make earrings matches, however, i will not accept any special orders on any retired pieces."

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the barns: 2009

i handed in my work for the penland resident artist show, the barns: 2009, a few days ago. since returning from the american craft exposition i have worked non-stop on this new body of work. i was concerned when i began that i could be getting myself into a world of trouble because i did not have a lot of time - less than 2 weeks. getting started was a struggle as sometimes starting is the hardest part. once i did though the work just came and making it became one of the most enjoyable experiences i've had in my studio yet. i will post more photos on flickr soon.
the exhibition opens september 29 with an opening reception on friday, october 2 from 7-8:30. the show closes december 6.

i am currently on vacation and will return to my studio next tuesday. see you then and thanks for reading.

Monday, September 14, 2009

jewelry artist magazine

i was quoted in an article in september's jewelry artist magazine titled "A Display in Retail - Jewelry Store Possibilities for Craft Jewelers." The article was written by sharon elaine thompson and is about finding other venues to sell handmade jewelry. since i found a niche for my production jewelery (my collections) in independently owned shops and clothing boutiques, i was interviewed by sharon to talk about my experiences. i like the article and think it has some really good information to share. you can find the magazine on newstands now.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

wear and tear

here's a little something else, because i am bored of writing about myself. i discovered "wear and tear" awhile back and have been meaning to share it with you. wear and tear is by chinese designer cheung lik - it's creative, it's fun, it's a bit irreverent...cheung also makes clothes, accessories, and sculpture. there are two websites, one for wear and tear and one for cheung's other work. i find both very interesting.

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

american craft exposition, part 3

to recap...A.C.E. was a great show. i arrived wednesday morning and the emerging section was ready for set up. it was simple and basic - white walls, some shelving - most of the emerging artists brought their own cases, pedestals, and fixtures. A.C.E. did have tables and shelves for those of us (like me) who wanted them. my set up was super easy. i got two tables and arranged my display. done. as for the group - talented, strong work, and i felt it all looked great together. the first night was a preview party which i felt was as much a social event as a sales event. it was a slow night for me - i think many of the attendees were their to buy work from artists they were collecting and to socialize with each other. the rest of the weekend was different and ended being what i consider to be a great show. i did not have high expectations and was pleasantly surprised.

so a few questions remain including do i want to do shows? i still don't know. i know i don't like doing them (so far). it's hard for me to stand there, greeting everyone who walks by, trying to sell the work. i'm not a good salesperson or at least i don't think i am. i can be charming and often enjoy engaging people in conversation, but it is a struggle for me to make the first step. i usually let people just look and hope they say something if they are interested or have questions. i start with hello and maybe "how are you" and then i watch for a cue to continue or not. sometimes people are friendly immediately while others can be quiet. i know i hate to feel pressured and sometimes just want to look, but i also know i do like to be acknowledged. i guess this is part of my approach. (and i am pretty sure this is not the way to make those sales...) my sales were good for this poor economy and my first timer status, but i wonder if i could do better if i was more proactive. however, i'm not sure this is my personality. (i think some of us are born salespeople and others are not.) in general i feel very awkward and i know i would rather send my work to galleries and stores to sell it for me. shows are a good way to promote your work and network, but do i have to do a lot of them? can i just do one or two a year? can i get away without doing them at all? these are just a few of the many questions i have...

thanks for reading.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

american craft exposition, part 2

judith kinghorn

for me, one of the best parts of doing shows like the american craft exposition is the people i meet. this time around i was most excited to meet sandra enterline, pat flynn, mark hartung and gretchen goss, and reiko ishiyama. i admire their work and it was great to talk with them and see their work in person. some new people i met who's work i was not so familiar with include judith kinghorn and deborah faye adler. in addition i was psyched to spend some time with biba schutz and todd reed, two of my favorites!

sandra enterline

deborah faye adler

in the emerging section i was happy to meet grace chin and genevieve yang who both make beautiful work. it was fun to meet them and talk about our work and businesses.
grace chin's display

these are just a few of the incredible group of jewelry artists at this show. to see a full list, please visit the ACE website.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

american craft exposition, part 1

here are a few images of my area in the emerging artist section. i kept it very simple as i think you can see. i had to fly to the show so i couldn't bring a lot with me. i did ship some display pieces but i did not know what to expect and didn't send, much. i requested cases in the planning stages, but then couldn't use the ones they had for me. i opted for these tables instead. (i was planning on having all my jewelry out and not under glass anyway.) when i first created my display it was pretty flat and similar to the way i do things in my own studio gallery. friday was a long day (10am-8pm) and was rather slow for my own sales. i kept thinking of things i could do to bolster interest/purchasing and looked to my display area...i felt it could use some work so i thought about ways to improve it when i got back to my hotel that night. i knew i wouldn't have time in the morning to go anywhere and i didn't want to spend any money so i had to get creative. i turned my portfolio ring binder into a necklace display, used my storage boxes for more height, and added many of my red gift boxes for color and more levels. the result was much better and i sold more saturday than i did the day before. (this, of course, is also due to other factors as well, but i would like to think the improved display helped.)

more tomorrow...

thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

american craft exposition, in brief

i got back from my trip to evanston, il for the american craft exposition last night. it was a great trip and a great show. here's a picture of part of the emerging artist section including my little display. i'll write more about the show very soon, i just wanted to post a picture and a little "i'm back" entry.

thanks for reading.