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  • Silversmiths and Bead Jewellery Designers

    I have been trying to get into craft fairs for weeks now with no success and I am rejected all the time because they are full for jewellery making, now, I don't know about you bead jewellery designers, but as a silversmith I know that I wouldn't know where to start making a bead design, I watched Anita from " Its a Mistry " making a fabulous swarovski beaded ring (mega-blingtastic ) on Saturday at Buxton and the patience and intricacy of her work was awe inspiring and led me to the conclusion that craft organisers should probably recognise the two as completely different craft forms, they are as about alike as a card maker and a soap creator in terms of the type of skill application.

    My point is, if the organisers considered us as two different craft forms then there would be twice as much space !! and we could all get into the fairs !! Or alternatively there is only half the space allocated to these two different types of crafts at present .

    Your thoughts?
    Lisa Quinn

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Quinn-Handcrafted-Silver-Jewellery/185802658258?ref=nf

    UK Jewellers Collective Forum
    http://www.larsandingrid.co.uk/forum/index.php

  • #2
    Silversmiths and Bead Jewellery Designers

    Hi Lisa

    It was great to meet you and Anita on Sunday! Really good to put a face to a name. Anyway, back to your post.....I totally agree. I was amazed on Sunday to see such an incredible mix of jewellery in one place and I don't really think any of you were competing against each other in a sense because all of the jewellery was so different. I believe that a lot of craft fair organisers just see jewellery as jewellery and don't fully recognise that, like you say, this involves such an array of different skills and designs. I would, personally, be more than happy to share a craft fair with other jewellery designers if their range was completely different to mine and the skills involved totally separate to what I do! I do object like you said in an earlier post that the organisers still allow people to stand that have clearly "bought in" their jewellery and no skills have been involved. Craft organisers should think seriously of stopping them standing and replace them with true craftspeople even if they already have supposedly filled their quota of jewellers? Jo x
    Jo Walters
    www.uniquebeadedgems.co.uk
    http://www.facebook.com/uniquebeadedgems?ref=ts
    http://www.folksy.com/shops/uniquebeadedgems
    http://twitter.com/uniquebeadedgem

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    • #3
      When you apply for a stall at events do you apply as a 'jewellery maker' or as a 'silversmith'?

      I ask because I have been turning away 'jewellery' for a fair I am organising purely because I assume that 'jewellery' means beads, necklaces, bracelets etc etc, if someone came at me as a 'silversmith' I wouldn't immediately turn them away, i would ask to see some pics etc and then I would be able to see how different it is to the 'jewellery' (does that all make sense??)

      I recently bagged a stall at a 'jewellery' fair after insisitng the organiser looked at my website because I wanted to sell my watches, after looking she said that as far as she knew no other stalls were going to be selling watches (at least none of them had stated it on their applications) so therefore I could have a stall on that basis.

      Now I don't say 'I do jewellery', I say I design interchangeable watches and childrens accessory sets, along with hand cast resin pendants' (although I haven't started those yet I intend to for my Sept onwards fairs ), gets more interest from the organisers and not just 'brushed off' as 'another jewellery stall'

      I suppose what I am trying to say is that if we as the crafters are more descriptive of our craft and instead of lumping ourselves into the 'jewellery making' group we singled ourselves and our crafts out a little, maybe in turn the 'organisers' would follow suit

      (sorry for the lengthy post ops

      jan x
      www.simplyisis.co.uk

      www.purplesnailevents.co.uk

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      • #4
        I agree with everything said here.

        The trouble is "jewellery" can encompass so many different forms. I like making items from silver wire, use art clay and have just started silversmithing. I would also like to get into making bracelets for watches, there are so many diferent forms of making jewellery that it is really difficult to place them under the one term i.e. "jewellery".

        I like Jan's idea, I think from now on I won't say I make jewellery but I am a "silver accessory designer", lol.

        Caroline
        silver jewellery at The Silver Jewellery Workshop
        bespoke handmade jewellery
        Silver Jewellery blog
        Handmade Jewellery Blog

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Janx View Post
          I ask because I have been turning away 'jewellery' for a fair I am organising purely because I assume that 'jewellery' means beads, necklaces, bracelets etc etc,
          ...............a little offended at that one - have you seen 'proper' beadweaving? It takes me 15 - 20 hours to make a design.

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          • #6
            some amazing bead jewellery, then ive seen lots of mass produced bead stuff that looks all the same, and wedding jewellery looks all the same to me, but people love the last two it's what sells.

            whilst some of my work looks lie everybody elses, i dont see te point in making somethig the same, and my main thing is to recycle, so i ill buy from charity fetes and reinvent old necklaces instead of buyinfg beads then add crystals. or use beads given to me in a swap, atleast i feel like im doing something useful, instead of just pureluy to sell.

            I think whatever the customer wants to find, i personally think bead jewellery can look unusual, but my fave jewellery is the sparkly ones that play with colour, so nice beadwork, enamel bits and vintage brooches, glam stuff.

            Id rather lots of good bead jewellery and some good silver, than half half not necessarily original jewellery, quality over quantity instead of bead and silver quotas?
            Last edited by RenataHarris; 29-07-2009, 08:58 PM.
            http://www.justgiving.com/renata-harris (1/2 marathons for World Society for the Protection of Animals)
            http://flashsparkle.blogspot.com Vegan cookery

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            • #7
              I'm like Jan, I got into a christmas fair that already had enough jewellery because i sold myself as different and stressed that I attend the same venue with a different organiser and am different to the other jewellery makers who attend the same events. I sent photos and I am now a regular for that event.

              Just as you sell your pieces to customers I think it is important to sell yourself to the organisers. WE are not all the same.

              Be a boring world if we were.
              Handmade jewellery, to buy gifts or just to treat yourself visit my website, commissions welcome or join me on facebook for a chat

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              • #8
                Excellent points from everyone, I have, so far , sold myself as a jewellery maker as I took it for granted that organisers would wish to see our work before deciding who to accept in order to ensure that they would not have too much of one kind stall at their event, but from now on I will try to create some interest in myself by selling myself as a silversmith and pushing some of my more original pieces.
                I guess in the past I have given up straight away as soon as I have been refused due to the standard phrase " full for jewellery makers", next time I will market myself both in a smarter and more pro-active manner.

                "CRAFT FAIR ORGANISERS ARE YOU THERE ? HAVE YOU GOT SPACE FOR A SILVERSMITH AT YOUR CHRISTMAS FAIRS PLEASE? (Derbyshire,Notts, Leics, Cheshire type areas would be good!!)"
                Lisa Quinn

                http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Quinn-Handcrafted-Silver-Jewellery/185802658258?ref=nf

                UK Jewellers Collective Forum
                http://www.larsandingrid.co.uk/forum/index.php

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                • #9
                  I agree that lumping everything into the jewellery term is unfair. I am organising a fair this Christmas and have made a point of selecting different disciplines. I hope other organisers start to do the same! Makes for an interesting mix for the visitors and keeps you 'silversmith and beading accessories designers' happy
                  Design, not rocket science. Illustrator, graphic and web designer, mum of two, wife and self-appointed font police.

                  Changing the world one crayon at a time.

                  website: www.whoatemycrayons.com


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                  • #10
                    getting through the door

                    Hi

                    I think this is realyl interesting.....I think I may try and make up a cool alternative name for what I do to get in.

                    I have managed to persuade several people by talking about what i do that's different - which is mainly around demonstrations, people being able to come and learn how to make things and also people being able to dig through my bead box and 'design their own' to commission something, some (not all!) people let me in becuase they think it'll be more interactive

                    Worth a try? - although please not at the ones I want to go to!!

                    Now.... let me think..... a bending and threading technician..............a designer of women's decorative items.....
                    thanks

                    Cath

                    [email protected]

                    party, party, party, book a party before christmas, £25 of free jewellery if you get 10 guests..................and a lovely night!

                    (feel free to do the rep points thingy!!)

                    www.vivalabeader.com

                    view gallery @ ww.flickr.com/photos/vivalabeader
                    [email protected] www.facebook.com/vivalabeader
                    [email protected] www.folksy.com/shops/vivalabeader

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Vivalabeader View Post
                      Now.... let me think..... a bending and threading technician..............a designer of women's decorative items.....
                      I like it Cath! - you know your foot is in my door and I'll definately be in contact about the Spring fair
                      Design, not rocket science. Illustrator, graphic and web designer, mum of two, wife and self-appointed font police.

                      Changing the world one crayon at a time.

                      website: www.whoatemycrayons.com


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                      • #12
                        I agree, organisers should differentiate between the many different types of jewellery - there are so many distinct styles it seems such as shame to lump us all in together.

                        We have recognised the dirrent types when booking jewellery stalls for our show in November - although we don't want the overall number of jewellery stalls to make up more than a certain % of total, we've got a good mix within that, glass beaded, silversmith, PMC, polymer, resin, 'fabric jewellery' i.e. brooches, corsages etc too.

                        We could do with someone who does some really really stunning beadweaving though - Peter are you free on the 22nd Nov and near to Warwickshire?????

                        We have asked for photos for each and every booking for the show (jewellery or not) - this allows us to make sure we maintain a good level of quality and vary the styles, as even within glass beaded jewellery, which is by far the most popular type, styles can vary considerably.

                        I have found organsiers who send out a standard 'full for jewellery' response without asking what style you make tend to have a lot of the same style, as they don't always see a difference.

                        I always make a point (if I get the chance) of saying that I also make a lot of designs in polymer clay - I have got into a couple of 'full' events on that basis alone, and haven't minded not being able to take my glas beaded jewellery along.

                        Claire
                        Website; www.midshiresmakers.co.uk
                        Facebook Pages: www.facebook.com/weedoncraftmarket
                        www.facebook.com/craftshoppingexperience

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                        • #13
                          We could do with someone who does some really really stunning beadweaving though - Peter are you free on the 22nd Nov and near to Warwickshire?????

                          I'm giving it serious thought Claire. I don't do 'craft fairs', but it might be good to do a demo stall and take orders for one offs....................hmmmmmmmm.

                          Can't really commit until August 26th when I find out how long it's going to take to get this bit out of my shoulder, but I'm interested!

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