Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On Pins and Needles

I applied to two spring craft shows this morning, and now I wait until the end of the month to find out if I got in or not.  Not breaking news, I know, but I'm on pins and needles until I get word.  I've never before worried about getting into shows, I'd never been rejected - until last fall.  I'd done this same show for the previous ten years in a row and never not been accepted, so it came as a body blow when I was rejected for last year.  I'm one of the few jewelry vendors there that consistently had a line out of the booth for most of the day on Saturday, the peak time.  I have product that is completely different than anyone else.  My sales figures were huge, considering the price point on my jewelry.  I was floored, how could they not want me?

So I contacted them and asked, why was I rejected?  They said it was because they had too many applications for 'strung jewelry.'  Huh?  I don't do strung jewelry anymore because there are too many people doing it.  I have no idea why they lumped me into that category.  But then I went back and looked at my application photos.  I had taken new photos, showing several pieces in each shot.  Lo and behold, there in two of the photos were strung pieces that I'd thrown in just to show my versatility.  Not really strung per se, as they were hand knotted.  To someone who doesn't really know much about jewelry, they wouldn't know the significance of something being hand knotted rather than just strung on jewelry wire.   

Not to belittle anyone doing strung jewelry, not at all, I know it isn't as easy as most people assume it is.  I've taught many people how to string over the years.  I have boxes and boxes of beads from my earlier years, when all I did was string.  But I don't use stone beads as much these days, so they just sit there, waiting.  So it turns out it was my own fault that I didn't get in.  All winter I have worked on my photography skills, and I hope that it pays off with acceptances into shows. 

In the meantime, I'm in the studio playing with some new techniques and materials.  I've had this package of Tyvek sitting in a drawer for two years at least, and I never knew what to do with it.  I saw some beads on Pinterest the other day and just loved them.  Doing a little digging, I found out they were made with Tyvek.  So I fire up You Tube, watch a few videos, and I'm ready to play.  Oh what fun!  But to make some really nice beads, I need supplies - I need Lumiere paint to give them that sparkle that those beads on Pinterest have.  So I'm off to the craft store this afternoon to see if they carry it.  I can get it online of course, but that means I have to wait.  No!  I don't want to wait!  LOL  But I'll share with you my first attempt at these beads, please don't laugh.  I had just plain acrylic paint, I don't use paint much so I didn't have anything in the studio to really work with.

  The one in the front is just plain Tyvek and paint.  The other beads had fibers wrapped around them and the heat gun melted the fibers along with the Tyvek, which gave them interesting texture.  Not too shabby for my first attempt, eh?  I said don't laugh!  I made a few more yesterday that turned out better, but I didn't bother to take pics of those.  Now to figure out how to use them in my jewelry, once I get the hang of making them, that is. 

There is one art show I have always wanted to do, but they are extremely particular about their jewelry vendors and you have to make everything that goes into your pieces, no stone or crystal beads allowed unless you made the beads yourself - and who does that?  I've been playing with a loom weaving technique, but it's so time consuming that you would have to ask a small fortune for the pieces and the shows I do you'd never be able to sell one.  This particular show caters to the well off and most vendors sell extremely expensive art.  So, I think these beads would really shine in a woven bib necklace, with a price tag of three figures - not something I normally make.  I see some weaving in my future... 

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