In late February, I went to Arizona for the Fountain Hills Great Fair. And I had a moment that really made me stop and appreciate where I am and what I'm doing. I've had many moments to cherish in my chosen profession, though in recent years it definitely feels like swimming upstream (luxury product in a recessionary climate, anyone?). But I love what I do...so I still get up every day and do it. There are worse things!
But at the Fountain Hills festival, I sold my first stone-set piece of jewelry. And I know that stone setting isn't the holy grail...there are so many more things for me to learn (tube setting, hinges, etc) but....for me, being able to set a stone in metal is pretty much the mountaintop of jewelry making. For so many years I was a "beader", then a "wire worker", and I always felt like that was never quite good enough for me. I wanted to be a "real" jewelry designer, and by that I mean designing from scratch...jewelry fabrication.
I've been collecting cabs since long before I knew what to do with them, and I just started learning to set them in late 2010. The first few were gifts (or trades - my hairstylist and my massage girl are always happy to trade!), and I started displaying my stone set work in November 2011. So I showed those pieces at two festivals last year, and then at my first festival this year...I sold one. It went home with a fabulous woman who, I believe, will cherish it for years. And as happy as it made her...it made me a million times happier. I climbed the mountain and finally reached the top - and someone stepped up and said, "Yes! I love it!".
So much of our own selves is tied to what we create...it's hard not to take the bad (show rejections, the mistakes, the slow sales days) personally. And I do take them *all* personally, despite my best efforts not to. But I have also learned to savor the good. And this was one of those really, really good moments.
Here's my first stone-set piece that sold:
I couldn't be happier. :)