This weekend, Jon and I visited family in Brattleboro, Vermont. It's a small, artsy town filled with galleries and funky shops. We happened to be there for the monthly "First Friday" celebration, so we took in a ukulele flash mob (so much fun!), a chamber music concert, and then went on the gallery walk.
While on the walk, we stopped by an artisan gallery that's filled with handmade crafts made by local -- and out-of-town -- artists. Most of the work is stunning; there are clay vases, blown glass sculptures, paintings ... and jewelry. I was surprised to see how reasonably priced the jewelry was and ended up purchasing a pair of earrings. Jon then said to me, "You know, you should see if you can get your stuff into this store."
At first, I said, "No" because I was dressed very casually in shorts and a T-shirt, and figured that they only accept Vermont-based artists. But then I was like, "What the hell? I'm IN the gallery and the worst that can happen is I'm told, 'No, thanks.' It won't kill me to ask."
So I did and got an enthusiastic response from the clerk. She was impressed with my glass pieces and handed me an application, explaining that their submissions are juried. I'm fine with that. I just want the opportunity to try.
One of the pieces I plan to submit via photo is this abstract glass jewelry set. I actually made this to include in my application for the upcoming local art festival, but now it will serve a second purpose. Hopefully, it will yield positive results for both the store and fair:
I've made several other jewelry sets, but this one is more complex. This is seven layers of fused dichroic glass, both etched and clear. I carefully planned out how to place each layer, so I could get that particular abstract design.
The earrings and bracelet were harder to design than the pendant because they're smaller. I had to alter the pattern a bit so I could fit the layers into a tinier space. I also used fewer layers -- five for each instead of seven -- because I didn't want the earrings to be too heavy. Still, the designs work as one whole concept, even if the individual pieces aren't completely matchy-matchy.
Since so much is going on in the design, I went with a simple silver wire wrapped chain and band. I added in a couple of spirals to complement the pattern, but didn't want to go overboard with the crystals or geometric shapes.
A lot of people call my glass pendants "stones," which is incorrect. I have to explain that they're not actually stones, but glass cabochons, which I cut, shaped and fused. However, I really do think this pendant resembles a stone -- perhaps an opal?
This year has been all about stretching myself as an artist and businesswoman. My efforts have been paying off, but I still have a lot of work to do. It would be wonderful if I could get my jewelry into this gallery. I'd be in great company.