I haven’t entered my silver jewellery on this blog for several months because I haven’t made any, aside from a few things indulgent pieces for myself (such as the uncomplicated bangle above).
Reasons for this stasis include, first and foremost, the writing and editing of my novel, which monopolises every corner of my daily routine. Secondly, the market is saturated with jewellery of all kinds. Stores such as Etsy prove that there really is some fabulous work on offer but with the economic situation coupled with a flooded market people can afford to be very choosy.
Once upon a time, I walked down a street in Melbourne wearing a sterling silver abstract pendant that I’d made, and a stranger loved it so much that she bought it from me then and there. It was this that had first prompted me to make and sell my jewellery. On one level this was fantastic but it also changed the dynamics of my creativity somewhat, and times have since changed .
Like a lot of creative people I know, I am not inherently business savvy. I did, however, join forums, advertised through groups, pages and ads on Facebook, Twittered here and there, as well as promoted through Etsy Showcase. I also have banner ads on a number of websites and I continue to pollute the environment wherever I go with cute red-and-black business cards. I’ve stopped with all but the free ad stuff. While I’ve sold discounted work to family and friends, on the open market I haven’t moved a bloody thing. I’ve adjusted prices and even made cheaper pieces. The latter just made me feel like I was lowering my standards. I’ve since come to the conclusion that beyond these combined methods I simply don’t have the time or resources to relentlessly pursue the promotion of my silver goodies. Perhaps if there were two of me, one could write all day long while the other could be running markets, exhibitions and the like. But outlets such as these are already showing evidence of a well-fed jewellery industry diluted further by cheap imports, therefore I feel that, at this point in time, an exhibition of jewellery, however unique, would be at enormous expense only to be met by the same stone wall.
Still, never say die.
I revel in working with metal so I’m not giving up. Far from it. But I will be placing emphasis on the original delight of creativity and putting all commercial aspects out with the cat – for the time being at least – for the sake of focus. Between novel drafts I’ve been busy with some fledgling non-jewellery ideas and designs that incorporate my love of books, writing and scripts with pinhole photography, sculpture and non-ferrous metals. With an upcoming exhibition called Explorations
(into which I entered Mnemosyne
in 2008) I’ll be posting up the creative process of my intended submission.