Busy Bank Holiday Monday

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No sitting around complaining about the bank holiday weather for me, oh no.

Instead I was to be found sanding Tenby Street castings in preparation for Treasure in a couple of weeks. It’s a retail show that’s part of the giant, monster celebration that is London Jewellery Week 2009. It’s exciting to be involved, but since I only found out about the show last week it’s going to be something of a mad scramble to get everything done in time.

Today’s job was to get my rough castings clean and ready to have the findings soldered on tomorrow. It took a little longer than I’d hoped it would but my perfectionist streak comes out when I’m cleaning things and I start to image stratches and dinks where, to a sane person, it’s clear that there aren’t any.

At the end of Treaure-prep, day one, my bench looks like this:

Lots of lovely little castings, lined up after cleaning
Lots of lovely little castings, lined up during cleaning

Press releases, invitations and the merits of a thicker skin

It seems to me that I’ve always been encouraged not to boast about the good things that I do, not to ‘show off’ and definitely not to draw attention to myself. But, thing is, I’m self employed now – and the only way I get publicity is by creating it.

RBSA Invitation

I’ve just written my first press release (a pretty daunting thing it was too, not to mention a massacre of everything good journalism is about) and found myself forced to write it in the third person, for fear that I sound horrendously big headed. It’s somehow more comforting to say “Becca creates…” rather than “I create…” for the simple reason that it puts some distance between me and what I’m writing.

A lot of design makers seem to fall down on the issue of getting their work out there. It’s easy to say – oh, I’ll send it to a gallery, but trying to get one to take work and promote is just as hard as getting a publishing house to read the novel your great Aunt Bea wrote one summer 15 years ago. On beer mats. At her local. During a recent trade fair I stood alongside my work, objects I’d spent hours making and watched bored, disinterested Gallery owners stroll right by, or ask flippant questions before passing on to the next stand. And the thing is, I know  I’ve got that same 10 second attention span but somehow having those apathetic, seen it all before eyes glancing over your work wears into your soul. I need to aquire a thicker skin.

Flotsam Spoons, packing, and the paperwork that entailed.

Flotsam Spoon Pair 2009
Flotsam Spoon Pair 2009 - Silver and drift wood with etched detail

Pft, I always forget how much paperwork is involved in packing, cataloguing and organising things. I’ve just delivered work for an exhibition (details of which are here.) The task seemed simple: put 20 pieces of jewellery and a few bits of silverware  in a box and walk it around the corner to the gallery.

Ha, as if I would allow  myself to make my life that easy. I had to make lists of things, fill in gallery forms, clean my silver, wrap, then spy imaginary finger prints on my pieces, un-wrap everything, re-clean it, re-wrap it (yes, I may be my own perfectionist curse) and finally, having got it all together I put in a set of gloves (in the forlorn hope that who ever unpacks it will not get fingerprints on it) and made myself deliver it.

After all the effort I was rather ticked when the woman at the Gallery just snagged the box out of my hand, said thanks and slid it behind the counter. She didn’t stop to appreciate the hours that went into the effective use of space inside the box, or the neat scotch-taping of the bubble wrap. Still, at least it’s gone. Re-packing a third time would have been excessive.