There have been times during my work as a studio jeweler when I have sadly felt that my 'voice' was going unheard, when my pieces were under-appreciated or even not appreciated at all. This despite knowing that I had an audience of collectors who were indeed hearing what I had to say through my jewels.
I recently exhibited at a show, expecting to see those collectors, but truly not expecting what occurred at the show. What happened was so completely unexpected, I wanted to share it , because I do know that we have all expressed disappointment and felt our work was rejected by the audiences they were trying to reach. So, I hope that what I share here offers support and hope in the face of living the life of an artist.
Early on the very first day of the show I sold a pair of earrings to a new customer (who now will become a collector, I felt assured). But that was not the true unexpected experience.
Among the pieces I brought with me was a brand new neckpiece, "Euchromia", which because of the extensive labor I put into it, and the materials I used was priced above any other piece I have previously shown.
A second piece, one of my jewels plus enclosures was also shown. This piece, "Imagining Esther", one of a series of pieces done as a personal research effort to understand in depth a range of Judaic symbology, had been made in 2014, and so had been shown a number times, garnered interest, but had not sold.
The surprise of that day at the show, was that both of these pieces sold to collectors, a mother (the neckpiece) and to her daughter (the neckpiece and enclosure).
These women already own a substantial collection of my work, but the affirmation of my work and my intentions afforded by these sales was enormous, and as I described above, unexpected.
So. . . I try to remember that when I might be experiencing disappointment when showing my work, that this disappointment is simply a part of the sine curve of making art, some of the troughs are deep, and some of the crests are high, and the voyage between can be steep or shallow. I try to bear in mind that there is an audience for everything and therefore the collectors of my work are just waiting to see it.