As I say, this is my first bead show and to be honest I haven’t done many jewellery shows either since they rarely seem to be worth the effort required. However, I was asked to do this one with two beady friends you may know…Claire Braunbarth of Smitten Beads and Teresa Hulley of Bo Hulley Beads and we will be sharing an 18 foot table at the event. This is not a ‘hand made’ event but a general commercial bead show and as far as I can make out, besides myself and Bo there will be two lampworkers there making for an art bead representation of just four! I can’t quite decide if this is a good thing since we’ll stand out amongst the huge sellers with their mountains of Chinese crystals and semi-precious gems, or whether people just won’t be looking for art beads in this environment. Just one of the factors contributing to my current state of mind and there are of course many more.
What to take, how many to take, how to present my inventory on the stand…the list goes on. A couple of weeks ago I was panicking that I wouldn’t be able to make anywhere near enough pieces in time but, after getting my head down I’ve now realised that I can do this and possibly with time to spare. But then however much I make, It doesn’t seem to amount to very much when you can pile it all into a couple of storage trays. I know that this is because I’m picturing my stand against those huge sellers when in fact there is no way hand made elements should be piled to the rafters in that way. So why are creative minds so irrational and why can’t I see that when it’s laid out in my newly purchased display trays it will look lovely…? I think a dummy display run would help but I can’t do this yet because my dining table has been given over to the patination and finishing process (roll on that new studio!).
The ‘what’ has also been fairly taxing as I have no show experience to go by and in the end I just adopted the ‘sit down and go with the flow’ approach I take when I work on shop stock as it seems to work but of course, I will never quite be free of that pernicious, insidious little doubt that burrows its way in every now and again…what if people just hate my work…? Arghhh!
But it’s not all frustration and I have managed to produce a lot of work and I’m really pleased with some of the new colour combinations I’ve been inspired to use. When I started making metal clay components I never expected colour to become such a major feature thinking it somehow defeated the object of the medium but I’m so glad I did as it can add a whole new dimension. Take these for example – I’m hoping these will be popular…
Only kidding – I think I would have to be attending a Mardi Gras show to sell these in this state but they do illustrate how, when you add colour to metal you need to be able to see past the process stages to the finished product, much as ceramicists do with glazes I guess. I know the first couple of times I did this I thought what on earth have I done but, with a bit of judicious sanding and polishing you can turn a very gaudy sow’s ear into a silk purse…
I’ve also been working on some graduated colour palettes and this is one of my favourites which I’ve given a working title of “Ocean Drive’.
But not everyone is turned on by colour so I am of course including a more neutral range in my stock.
I’m at the point now where I (think) I have everything I need finalised and I just need to beef up quantities on some items. With a bit of luck I will get that done with time to work on the display and all the associated administration tasks so that I can go off to my show confident and relaxed. Oh and of course there’s jewellery to be made to help people visualise my components in use…
My show banner is already ordered and I’m hoping that a couple of my little owls peeking out at the crowds will intrigue people enough to get them to come and take a closer look…
So if you have any last minute tips for shows please feel free to share – I’m sure there are many people out there who would appreciate them.
Happy show time folks!
The Gossiping Goddess