Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Last weekend was a milestone for me. I exhibited at a festival in Nashville, TN....as a full-on metal girl. Though I've been fabricating / metalsmithing regularly since late 2009, I have been straddling the fence. I still brought my suede lariats, my less expensive bead-y creations, with me to festivals. But this was the first show I juried into with my new photos - all metalwork - and I felt obligated to show up with nothing less than...just my metal work.

(down and dirty cellphone shot of my booth in Nashville). I had a lot of room because the people to the right of me never showed and the people to left of me skedaddled on Saturday night.

And I learned a LOT from this:

- First, I barely had enough inventory. I have been selling through my previous cast work because I want to go in a new direction, but don't have new cast pieces yet. So I was pretty low on production stock. And because the stone-set items take longer, and I'd just been through the Virginia-Highlands show in Atlanta, and then off to Chicago to help a friend with her show..I was a bit light on my one of a kind pieces.

- Second, it was surprising and impressive to watch the customer behavior when I didn't have the lower-priced bead-y pieces...I ended up selling more of the higher priced work. At this festival I sold six cabochon items, where at previous shows this year I sold maybe one or two. It was like I'd bumped myself up in the customer's expectations and they weren't looking for lower priced items from me. And that felt very, very validating.

- Third, I'd better get my butt in gear because I want to do more of this going forward! But I think it will be impossible to do as many festivals as I do with only one of a kind pieces. The design time, the fabrication time, the finishing time all take longer. And there's only one me to get it all done (at least right now). So I need to work on new stone designs AND really get the new cast masters created and in the production process. My next show is a month away and that's not a lot of time!

Here are the pieces that sold this weekend:

The "To the Top" charoite pendant (to a gentleman who actually knew what charoite was just by looking at it) and this new piece:

of Russian lacquerwork. Both sold to the same customer and his wife. They loved the Russian connection.  :)


"Uncharted Island", a larimar pendant. To a sweet couple on Sunday.  ;)


My second pair of earrings, also Peruvian opal. I think I should have bought more of these earring-sized stones!

And both of my contrast-y pieces:

Peruvian opal (top) and turquoise

What I loved is that each person really connected with the pieces...even when they didn't know the story behind the designs. I have been wanting to do this kind of work since I began jewelry design...and it was very rewarding to feel like I am (finally!) getting there. Mwah! Nashville, you made my weekend! I look forward to seeing you all again next year!


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