The Santa Monica Contemporary Crafts Market, that is. Once again, a great show.
Several years ago, we attended this show, and there were a lot more ceramics artists, and a lot fewer jewelry makers. Apparently, jewelry is enjoying a massive surge of popularity. Pots, not so much. Almost half of the exhibitors seem to be jewelry of one kind or another.
I was extremely disciplined. I purchased only one pair of gold earrings, like these pictured (but in vermeil), from VOZ, for a very modest sum.
I was mightily tempted, though, by a woodturner named Morrie Elmer who embeds semi-precious gems into his vessels. They are unbelievably exquisite, when you handle them, the embedded gems are so smoothly incorporated the whole surface is silken and smooth. One small mesquite piece with turquoise, coral and amethyst caught my eye. It was far less than the large vessel of ebony that took pride of place in his booth though. That one was inlaid with lovely opal, gold, and other gems. $12,000, and worth every penny.
We walked away, though, having other uses for the money in the next few years. Sorry, Morrie. Someday. Though I have thought about Mr. Elmer's work often since I last saw it 2 years ago. Oh well. I know where to find him now, if I become desperate for one of his vessels.
So. The first person we met on entering the market, at the VIP entrance, remarked on my necklace, and said I should be exhibiting. Wow. Much positive reinforcement took place thereafter. At least a dozen people commented positively on the piece. It's the finished amber, citrine and carnelian piece, which I just completed Friday night, purposely so I could wear it today.
Exhibitors complimented me, even those who were fully aware I wasn't going to buy anything. We had a lively conversation with Karen Smith about her micro-macramé, and advised a friend sharing her booth about the benefits of kumihimo for creating beaded braids. Her knotted work is totally inspiring. Must get back to work on my stuff! We also talked a bit with Sally Bass, who works in a "take no prisoners" full-speed-ahead style that's really irresistable. She uses an astonishing variety of materials in her work, including old pool-table balls and vintage lucite and bakelite.
We talked a bit to Myra Berg, of Quiet Oboes, about the success of her ad which appears every issue in American Style magazine. Her pieces may seem simple in technique, wrapping silk and other fibers over cylindrical forms, but in person they glow with light and dance with texture. She ran over and complimented my whole colorful ensemble, what with my amber/brown/gold necklace, royal purple shirt, blue jeans, fuschia socks and artist painted canvas purse by Iró. She's definitely a person who is enchanted by color!
On our way out of the show we stopped by the front desk and asked a show organizer for an application for exhibitors. We discussed the whole process, and I decided I will work toward an exhibition at the Market in November, 2011. That's 17 months away. Until then, I've got many things to learn, and an inventory to create!