One of the more common questions I get while I on the show circuit is, “How can you let this be sold?” That is really a multi-layered question for me, as I understand that when you look at my work, you know pretty quickly that each piece is handmade. I am currently working on my sculpting and carving skills and this was one of the pieces I just made for the Fall shows.
I used a branch from my yard (twig) and molded the clay and then carved out the leaves and the baby acorn and let them “attach” to the twig. The curve in the copper came out beautifully as well as the overall finished look. At yesterday’s show, a customer came in and she went directly for this bracelet and she was in love with it. It was the right fit and color for her and she was very excited and joyful–which is my goal with each piece that I sell. However, there was a small part of me that thought “Oh no, this is its first show . . really, it’s already going to go away?” I know, crazy, right, because making sales is always one of my goals at shows. But, I have found that the longer a piece stays with me in the collection and gets rave reviews for a few shows before it actually sells, gives me the time I need to accept it’s eventual departure from the collection to the person that I made the piece for.
So, to answer this question I would say that given time spent with a piece at each show, there comes a point when I’m ready to let go . .isn’t that true of life? We spent 18 years with our children before “letting” them go on to college, careers, and moving out. Are we ready then? I expect we are, because not only have our children grown, so have we. There are seasons in our lives that we prep for and then we are ready to live through them. My jewelry work is very personal and I do give a lot of myself away in each piece. But, I’m ready to. My other goal at shows is to connect to people and to make them happy, whether through conversation, sales or both. I pray for acceptance of the profit that is made at each show because I hope to trust God in His provision, and ultimately, it is His gift to me to have this creative talent.
If you happen to see me in this situation again (like I was yesterday), you may hear me say “oh, I just LOVE how this turned out” which is what I say many times anyway . . . but understand that anytime you buy a piece of legit handmade art–yes, you are getting a little piece of that artists’ heart and you are also participating in the journey each of us are walking through in life. Hmmm, all this from my little twig bracelet!