Monday, March 10, 2008


My new booth, and also my home for most of the past month.

Excuse me while I sweep away the tumbleweeds that have blowing through here the last month while I have been away. If there are tumbleweeds here, then you can just imagine the cobwebs forming at the bench as I have been on the road for the last month.

I went to the shows in Philadelphia and Baltimore with a great amount of apprehension, as I was introducing an entirely new line of work. Fortunately, it seems as if I have really been able to present something unique to the world of studio jewelry, yet maintain a continuum of design that carries over from previous work. Both new and previous galleries went with me on this transition. I also was the recipient of attention from many of my colleagues, many of whom had never encountered my work before. As could be expected, my bracelet was the star of the show.

The vitrine with my new bracelet-the star of the show

Upon arriving home, I found out that I am the runner-up for the AJDC New Talent Award, to be presented this summer in New York. That is quite an honor to me. The recipients are selected by members of the organization and they are the star lineup of American jewelry design.

I then travelled to a show in Philadelphia, and with only a brief 36 hours at home, I left again for the SNAG conference in Savannah. While studio jewelers such as myself often feel a bit estranged at this conference, due to it's more academic and conceptual focus, I felt that many of the young college professors were very curious to hear about my experience as a full time maker. While some of the students expressed a distaste for craft shows and those that exhibit in them, they were curious to hear some of my insight into that world.

I was impressed by the high level of work that the students were doing, despite the presence of a few clearly derivative bodies of work. I would like to bring them into the fray and encourage them to join the full time makers. The more of us that exist, the healthier the whole field will be. They have the energy and enthusiasm, and that counts for a lot.

Besides the new clientele that I have gained at the shows, I have potentially been chosen for some exciting opportunities. More on that as they become finalized. In the meantime, I am trying to re-familiarize myself with being a New Yorker (after the charms of Savannah, I forgot that the cabs here WILL run you over!), and with the tools in my studio.


knitsteel said...

Beautiful work and a great booth. Congrats on the honors!

There isn't much choice for a lot of jewelry & metals students- either make art and sell it or get a real job. There aren't many teaching jobs out there.

Michael Sturlin Studio said...

My Congratulations to Natasha on the
AJDC Award. Being a finalist or runner up is a significant achievement in the recognition of your work by this very
important group of artists.

I am also delighted to hear that your new work was well received at the recent shows, I certainly enjoyed seeing some of these pieces in person and hearing you speak about the inspiration and motivation that brought this new direction into conception and fruition.

For many of us, often working alone in the studio, the work is primarily theoretical as it takes shape. We may have an "feeling" for how it will affect the audience once it is given xhibition, and finally receiving a positive validation from the viewer, be they consumer or colleague, is truly a rewarding accomplishment

That you are able to continue to develop artistically and aesthetically is one of the most fulfilling aspects of a studio practice.

Kudos to you my friend, and well done!
Michael David Sturlin

Genie said...

congrtaulations on well deserved succuess. love your work

Harriete Estel Berman said...

I have a question, but before that, let me introduce myself. My name is Harriete Estel Berman. We met briefly at the SNAG Conference.

My question refers to a comment in your previous blog.
You said that the SNAG Conference is "Academic" and I was wondering what that met and how the SNAG Conference could actually change that perception?
Harriete Estel Berman