Saturday, July 29, 2006

ACC Application Time

All of my friends in the craft world are currently focused on one deadline. It is the deadline to apply to the American Craft Council shows. One of the most important shows of the year takes place in Baltimore in mid-February. It consists of three days open to gallery owners, curators, and other professionals, and then three days which are open for the general public to come and buy for their collections, gifts, etc.

The most coveted booths at the show are those that are for both portions of the show. It is very important for every established and emerging artist to be seen by both the galleries and the members of the public that hold this show in high regard. People travel from all over the Northeast and from across the country to collect directly from the most talented artists in all mediums.

For the artists, it sounds wonderful, right? Of course it is, but there is a catch. There is simply not enough space for all of us. This is doubly true when it comes to the jewelry section. Add to that the fact that we must re-apply each and every year. It is easy to imagine the effort that goes into making new work for the slides, having the work photographed, making sure the color balance is correct, and then finally submitting the application. Some artists analyze everything about how those five slides will look together on the screen.

I was recently reminiscing about my first ACC show with a friend. We felt so happy to be there. It was thrilling and intimidating at the same time to be there on the same floor as those artists we had seen in famous galleries, museum collections and magazines. I was very sure that someone would notice that I wasn't quite as brilliant as those famous artists. Whether we were feeling euphoria or panic, we managed to make it through, make friends and actually start working with some really great galleries.

So, as the deadline approaches, I wait for my own results and look forward to seeing how the jurying will shake out. Good luck everyone!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Image, New Work

This necklace is the aforementioned piece that took over a year of incubating in my mind to become reality. It is a version of my curling motif which has become more bold and minimal. The curls were forged out of thick rod and the pieces are joined by very simple wire connectors that have been balled up at the end.

Sometimes I allow myself to be hung up on the mechanisms of a piece. My sketchbook is filled with elaborate drawings of mechanisms that are beyond complicated. I usually find, however, that once I start the project and the pieces are actually laid out before me, the solution can suggest itself. Simple is always better, as in this necklace.

These photos are by Ron Boszko. We spent a day last week photographing some of my special pieces at his studio in Manhattan and I am very excited by the results.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Idea Incubation

It seems as if some ideas need an exceptionally long time to incubate before being realized. Last year, in the early spring, I had purchased a set of paisley shaped peridot. Slightly different sizes and shades of green. Since the shape is so close to the pear-shape that I generally use, I thought that these would be appropriate for a one-of a-kind piece that complements the rest of my line. Over a year later, I have finally finished the necklace. It is hand-forged silver with 22k gold bezels.

The original idea for the piece has been in my sketchbook for nearly a year as well. I spent some time being hung up on the idea that the necklace needed to be made entirely in 18K to complement such a special set of stones. Well, I think I would have been waiting for quite a number of years waiting for the budget for that amount of gold to appear.

I had even made a clay model, but for some reason I was yet to put hammer to metal. Eventually, the clay model had to be put away to make room for other projects.

Two weeks ago, with a photo deadline approaching, I made the decisive step of forging the first link. I was easily able to slip into the state of creative meditation known as flow, and the necklace came together in an elegant and simple way.

Photos to come next Tuesday!