Still recovering from SIERAAD and all of the hoopla surrounding getting there due to weather, but here's a video interview I did with an online jewelry magazine, SIERADENPassionista.  Other exhibitor interviews are available there as well, and I think it's a nice glimpse of what was on view at the fair.


SNAG Conference Wrap Up for Crafthaus: Part 2

Part 2: Voyeurism

J. Fred Woell, "Democracy Speaks" (brooch) 2003, mixed media: wood, copper, brass, steel, nickel. paper, plastic, 2 1/4 x 3 x 3/8"

The Lifetime Achievement Award Winner this year was J. Fred Woell.  Like many attendees, this is a lecture that I often skip.  If you saw Stanley Lechtzin’s “This Is Your Life” back in Philadelphia, you’ll understand why.  Snark aside, this year I regretted missing Woell’s.  His work, like Ebendorf’s, had a strong influence on me as an undergraduate jewelry student many years ago.  Also, by the end of the conference I was feeling overly sappy about some things.   More on this later.  I was simply under slept at the time, and spent much of the early conference mitigating my own apathy.
I made it to Garth Clark’s lecture, stumbling in and feeling a little embarrassed having missed the Lifetime Achievement Award.  This walk of shame in the lecture room is nothing new.  I had anticipated Clark's lecture eagerly--whether I would agree with him or not, it's never bad to have someone stir the pot on the first day.  Not only did he immediately address our host-state’s deplorable legislative behavior, especially lately, he also addressed the topic that has plagued studio jewelry since the post-90’s slump.  While other studio craft fields expand, diversify, and flourish, we seem to be the last to bloom.  This is a topic Clark has addressed often given his attempts to open a cross-over gallery for both ceramics and studio jewelry many, many years ago.  It became evident that the “fine art” market was more willing to embrace ceramics at that time, and we never fully resolved that issue in studio jewelry.  Clark’s take home lesson of the lecture is to address our phobias regarding design, and learn from the larger fashion/design world of the last decade.  It has grown to challenge the expectations of design, earn the respect of the fine art world, and continues to produce work that is technically and materially diverse.  Additionally, design does this without rejecting commercial success.  This theme of embracing, rather than sneering at the commercial world, while maintaining autonomy, creativity, and diversity, became a major theme of the conference.   And while some, including an inarticulate question-er at the end of the lecture, seemed to take offense at Clark’s advice, I found myself chewing on it as it thread through the rest of the weekend.  Read more on Crafthaus...


SNAG Conference Wrap Up for Crafthaus

 Part 1: Exhibitionism

 local flora to distract the weirdos

So where to begin post-SNAG 2012?  First impressions are that dehydration adds a nice layer of incapacitation on top of the usual exhaustion.  Fun fact, I get vertigo when I’m dehydrated so my head is literally spinning.
Like the sediment in my inner ear, I’m still waiting for things to settle so I can get my bearings.  This year was particularly surreal, as I had feared and anticipated it would be.  The good thing about a resort is that everyone spends a lot of time together in the communal spaces catching up, or making new friends.  The bad thing about a resort is that you’re all trapped on the island and some people did not come to make friends.
This conference was maybe half as big as Seattle’s... Now Seattle was epic, so that wasn’t a difficult achievement.  And I think the smaller group created a lot of opportunities for slower, more considered engagement.  Also the hostage-quality of the resort left us all in each others company as opposed to the usual forays into adjacent downtowns.  Our options were high-end mall sprawl or the forbidding Arizona desert.  Both equally terrifying in their own way…read more on Crafthaus.



I owe Stephanie Tomczak a double-thank you, both for the image above and for the many rides to the Bellevue Art Museum. Also, I stayed with a wonderful museum docent at her family. Since I don't want hobos marking their home, I'll keep them anonymous. But they were wonderful, and it was the perfect place to curl up and pass out every night. Also, Sally Brock at Fancy Gallery saved my ass with this foam display from her gallery. It was perfect!

I managed to come home without debt, which is the best to hope for at a first bonafide sale/show. I've got a lot to ruminate on. First of all, I don't know how other makers do this to make a living and travel every month. Maybe prozac? Second, I have to make a booklet or video that explains my process to some degree because having to explain for the 1000th time that I don't know dick about glass, and consequently nothing I make has any glass in it, nearly drove me to insanity. Third, I'm raising prices. My inner socialist will have to be mollified, maybe with prozac. I've had one too many lectures/pep talks urging me in this direction, and I'm officially tired of being broke and seeing less time-intensive work sell for much more money.

So as of March 1st, prices are doubling. I'm still queasy over it, but everyone has sworn to me that those of the upper classes will apparently be more interested. And I may begin to claw my way out of the poor house. Which sounds nice.

Now who wants to help me clean my disgusting studio? Seriously, I turned that place into a shit hole before I left.



Barely got this neck piece done in time...

The new brooches I did for INDULGE!

All rings attack all humans.

Oh boy--see you in Bellevue!


Last Lap

I've got one week until my flight to I decided to start 18 more rings today. Because it doesn't feel right if I get things finished with time to spare? The first night of INDULGE is next Thursday, February 9th so I hope you drop by if you're in the Seattle/Bellevue area or peer pressure your friends with applicable geography.

Also, I'm trying to be extra savvy and maintain a regular mailing list. You'll notice you can sign up by entering your address to the right. There's a growing list of interweb gew gaws over there. I'll send you fancy pictures, updates, and occasional Etsy coupons!



Things are getting pretty sloppy. Still no time for an overhaul.

Did I mention I'm also making charms for the Society of Contemporary Craft?

And more earrings...

And those long blue bits in the background have to assemble themselves into a serviceable entry for the necklace show "Hot Under the Collar" that's going to take place during the SNAG Conference.

These new polymer clay pieces are helping me get brooches moving more quickly. That's something at least. Trying to do this and cut back on caffeine consumption simultaneously is driving me a little nuts. My teeth feel sharper than usual. My tongue feels vulnerable. Shaky hands are counterproductive to my tiny dot painting regimen.

Must think small, calm thoughts.



Winter in Iowa is not the ideal time to work in my basement studio. However this freakish weather is making it more tolerable than normal. I just have to suppress my anxieties about how this will translate into the gardening season...

In less than a month I'll be trying my hand at INDULGE, a four day orgy of jewelry selling. I'm qualifying this event as my first real foray into the world of the high-end craft sale. The SNAG Trunk Show was a 2 hour scrum without the pretense of displays, charm, or dignity. It was perfect. My local favorite "What a Load of Craft" show affords a low financial investment--I show up and spend a day with my local Iowa Citians.

INDULGE will be different...plane tickets, major entry fees, and a lot of staying power along with an optimistic inventory. Though the price is comparatively low in the scheme of things, it's a tall order for this art hermit. So I'm working on new bits and pieces.

Yes, that's polymer clay. I'm as baffled as you are. Don't worry, lots to add.

And look at this disaster of a bench. I had dreams of cleaning and organizing...until my calendar reminded me that I have less than a month.

INDULGE takes place at the Bellevue Art Museum from February 8th through 12th.