This is our second installment of a new feature called “Compelling Questions.” Every month SNAG will feature a question that is posed to one or more people in the field of jewelry and metals and post their answer(s). This month we hear from Linda Kaye-Moses:
“How do you make work for sale without selling out?”
Linda Kaye-Moses: There is an old myth that you’re not a real artist if you intend to sell your work, that somehow actually selling your work changes the nature of what you make. Hogwash, poppycock, and nonsense! I have never understood why artists are required to starve in the interest of certifying the quality of their work. There is another misapprehension wandering the ranks of jewelers…that jewelry ain’t art. More h., p., and n. So, if we can assume the possibility that jewelry can be art, and also that jewelers as artists can sell their work in their lifetimes without effecting the quality of their work, then we eliminate a lot of barriers to surviving as artist/jewelers.
My experience as a studio jeweler has included participating in both retail and wholesale craft shows, selling work that I felt was based on my personal sensibilities. Initially I was a bit afraid that my production lines would not stand up to the scrutiny of show juries and that it might have been seen as inconsistent with the style and quality of my one-off work. As I struggled to make those lines, I found that my fears were baseless. It was impossible for me to design anything that wasn’t based on my own style sense and wasn’t capable of passing the jury test. That doesn’t mean I didn’t face rejections (Rejections are most assuredly not an arts myth). All that I needed to do was do the work and do the shows. The end result was that I was able to survive on the profits from my sales, which included being able to pay the mortgage, feed my family, and help my kids get through college.
above: Aryakwa Queen, neckpiece/locket, fine and sterling silver, 18k gold, antique lava cameo, paraiba quartz, boulder opal, ruby, hand-marbled paper, vitreous enamels.
SNAG would like to take this opportunity to recognize our Corporate Members for their support: Aaron Faber Gallery, Halstead, NextFab, and Pocosin Arts.