You may have heard me talking about doing a show last weekend in Baltimore. Here’s how it all went.
First, set-up was pretty easy. Our hotel was right next to the convention center (all be it on the far side from the show entrance) and the weather was cooperating with driving down to Baltimore. My neighbors also ended up being very nice and friendly with beautiful work, though we were in the same section as the flute guy and that never stopped, even after the show ended.
Friday was a little bit slow foot traffic wise and it was a really long day (10 am – 8 pm). It had nothing on Saturday though. People in the Mid-Atlantic area might realize that the middle two weekends in February have a strangely high rate of snow storms, but Maryland just never seems to be able to handle the snow in quite the same way as some other areas (I’ve lived there, I know). So it wasn’t that there was an enormous amount of snow, but the traffic was at a standstill on the beltway and the snow fell too fast to keep up with cleaning it up. Needless to say, foot traffic on Saturday was ever dwindling as the day stretched on.
Sunday we had a warm-ish day and way more people made it out, but there still weren’t many buyers. Did I make my sales goal? No. Did I even come close? No. Will I try the show again? Yes. With these big shows it takes a couple tries to get people to notice you plus the bad weather distorted the actuality of the show’s worthiness. Yes, I took a big hit, but I did get a lot of exposure, good comments from people, and I met a few other metalsmiths who had nice things to say about my work and lots of free, good advice!
I do want to thank all my people who made it out to the show and stopped by to say hi. Your support means so much to me! It was an honor being able to stand amongst so many of the great craftsmen of our time, people who I see on the pages of magazines, people who I admire. So I’ll just work even harder this year to make work worthy of being shown with theirs and next year, I hope to see you there cheering me on!
Sometimes the names of my pieces come to me immediately, other times I have to work to find the right title.
Ways I Name My Art
Untitled or Collar VII – I have in the past done the cop-out name and just left it untitled. I pretty much never name my cuffs and many of my earrings have the name of a series, but not individual pieces
- It Names Itself – Some pieces are designed around a name (my Elements necklaces for example) or the name pops into my head as I’m designing or working on the piece
- It’s Crowdsourced – Yes, I do turn to you sometimes to get ideas for what to call a piece. This is how I named Alluvial Moon and the necklaces named after the moons of Jupiter. Hmm, I see a theme there…
- The Hardest Way – With most of my vessels and wall pieces, I am driven by the design and the process and just a vague notion of what to name a piece. This is where I get super complicated and move back & forth between the thesaurus and dictionary trying to get just the right feel to the name. I’ll seize on some visual clue or an idea I thought of while making the piece and work toward a poetic and fitting title. This is how Carapace, Akimbo, and Vortex were all named.
The Secret Silly Name – Most of the unnamed pieces actually have a name. Something silly or too on the nose that I use when thinking about it to myself. Akimbo was “chicken,” Stepping Stones was “strips,” I have a ring that is “bowtie,” etc. I like to give a bit of gravity to my pieces and names have power, so I tend to find something better than these.