Jewel School Schedule
August 29 & 30 (today and tomorrow) wire artist and tool inventor Stephanie Eddy will talk about one of her specialties, the Original Lazee Daizee! Both of her Viking Knit tools will be offered with Bonus projects and if you haven't picked up any of Stephanie's easy-to-follow books, this will be the time to do so! She is also bringing back one of your favorites- matte wire spools in both cool and warm tones. (Warning! Stephanie just told me that she has a limited supply, so order early!)
To entice you, this is a photo of one of Stephanie's phenomenal designs titled: "Beyond the Garden Vortez".
September 2, 3, 5 & 6- JTV's Jewel School is getting ready for our annual Customer Appreciation Event (that will include appearances by more than 10 Guest Artists) so maybe it's time for you to stock up on beautiful strands of beads, gemstone cabochons, wire and whatever other supplies you might need, with our knowledgeable hosts, Kim and Mandy!
(Have you ever thought about using Wooden Beads? Lightweight and earthy, Jewel School offers a wide variety of shapes, sizes, textures and colors. Some are natural and others have been combined with resin for a lovely shine!)
In the meantime...
While you are waiting for our next Guest Artist to inspire you, perhaps it's time to pay a visit to Jewel School's "On Demand Video Collection". Within the more than 80 choices you can: learn how to make several popular chain maille weaves with Lauren Anderson and Christiane Ross; find Art Clay tips and projects from Jackie Truty and Katie Baum; work with Leslie Rogalski and Katie Hacker on beading projects and soooo much more - AND... this is all Free!!
Weekly "Cougarism"- Art VS Junk
OK, so Jan asked, "What is the difference between Art and Junk? Are there any guidelines?" This is a really broad subject so I am going to touch on what most of my readers are interested in- jewelry.
Be honest! Many of us have viewed something described as jewelry art and thought, "Really? Oh, please!", or "How could someone possibly wear that?!" We might then compare it to a piece of our own handcrafted jewelry and wonder why that is selling for such a high price, or why it won a certain contest while ours wasn't chosen. The variety of ways we each look at fashion trends, style, color and design are one of the traits of being human. (Isn't it cool that we are all so different?)
Now, take a step back and look again. What you may think of as "junk" may be thought of as the most fabulous piece of art in the universe by a renowned art critic, your neighbor, or even your mother! Probably one of the easiest ways to explain this situation is to quote a familiar phrase that is credited to author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, "Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder". Keeping in mind that history proves "fashion trends & fads" often reflect the current economy, today we are seeing a lot more jewelry made of recycled items, better known as "Found Art"; that can appear to be "junk" by those with an eye for more traditionally accepted designs. Here is where a lot of artists find their challenge. Do you change the style of what you have been doing for years and jump into the current trend? Should you modify your materials? The answers to these questions depend on your personal market and what your customers are looking for.
Although I know this has nothing to do with jewelry, I wanted to share a photo of one of my favorite pieces of "Found Art". Created entirely from trash, this gigantic roadrunner overlooks I-10 in New Mexico. The next photo is a close-up of his breast feathers.
I like this line from one of David Hume's essays, "Beauty in things exist merely in the mind which contemplates them." To me this means that every piece of jewelry you create has an owner! Sometimes it takes a while to put the two together (maybe even years) but a match is there if you are patient enough to wait; before getting frustrated and dismantling a piece that may have taken you hours to complete.
True story: many years ago I had a rose quartz cabochon in a wire wrapped design that I thought was simply horrible (because I had used silver when I thought I should have used gold and the accent beads were really kind of big for my usual style) so I wouldn't put it on my show table. (I didn't like it at all!) Later that afternoon a customer asked to see whatever else I had made in rose quartz and when I pulled out the tray that included my monstrosity, it was the only piece that customer was interested in buying!
No matter the medium (chain maille, metal clay, wire art, silver smithing, etc) when you look at a piece of your own handcrafted jewelry to determine whether it is "art or junk", in my opinion you need to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do I like the overall design of this piece?
2. Am I basically happy with the way it turned out?
4. Are there any rough or sharp edges?
3. Is the finish of the quality I require before I either gift it or offer it for sale?
If the answer to any of these is no, then by all means fix it so you are pleased with the final results! If your answers are all positive, but: you're not happy with the color choices you experimented with; you think it's too big or too small; you wished you had used different materials or another stone; the shape didn't turn out exactly the way you had imagined, or you are simply not pleased with some other design detail - leave it alone! One day, someone will think that you made that piece just for them!
Has your "junk" ever become someone else's "treasure"?