Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Four Days of Art Shows Coming Up

I'm getting ready for four days of Central Texas art shows - First Thursday on South Congress at Hill Country Weavers, then Buda Fine Arts Festival Friday - Sunday.

UPDATE: I won't be at First Thursday tonight, Hill Country Weavers didn't renew their permit in time :(

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Old Pecan Street Festival, Austin, Texas

I'm ready! For this weekend's Old Pecan Street Festival, that is. I will be in booth 92, between Trinity and Neches across from the Library Bar (they will be televising the game on their big screen tv's). Stop by and see my new jewelry and giclee prints on canvas!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Genuine, Handmade Sea Glass Jewelry

I just uploaded 15 new sea glass pieces to my Etsy store:

What is GENUINE sea glass? Sea glass (also called beach glass or mermaid's tears) is tumbled by sea sand and waves until smooth and frosted. It is NOT recycled glass that has been frosted in a rock tumbler. It is NOT frosted glass purchased at a craft store. Each and every piece of my sea glass jewelry is created from genuine sea glass which I find on Caribbean beaches during my scuba diving trips.

So you ask why my sea glass jewelry costs as much as my other jewelry if the glass was free? Well, it's not exactly free. Sea glass is not common, and I spend many hours searching for it. Then, after returning home, the glass is sorted and only the most perfect pieces are chosen for jewelry. Earrings are especially time consuming because I spend a lot of time matching up the pieces to make pairs. Drilling holes in sea glass is a skill that I have mastered only after considerable practice. It is done using a high speed drill mounted in a drill press with a diamond drill bit. The glass must be drilled in a pan of water to keep the bit from getting too hot and breaking. And, great care must be used during the drilling process because the glass breaks easily.

It is important to note that genuine sea glass is mostly irregular in shape and will almost always have some imperfections. It's made by mother nature and it's supposed to be that way, that's how you tell it's the real thing!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Austin Handmade Market - Cancelled due to rain

This Saturday, September 12, I will be selling my handmade jewelry at Austin Handmade Market, 2009 South First Street, noon to 6pm. Come out and see my latest designs and a variety of handmade items from Team Etsy Austin members.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Selling at Art Shows - Non-refundable Application Fees - Milking the Cash Cow

Today I received an email plea from a local holiday art show (won't name names) extending the application date and encoraging people to apply. This show charges a $30 non-refundable application fee, so if you don't get accepted, they keep your money.

The question is why are they sending out a call for artists at the last minute? Are they not getting enough applications? Also, I heard that it was really slow last year compared to years past. Perhaps it's the economy, and people cannot risk paying them $30 and getting turned down, or perhaps people are rebelling against these excessive non-refundable fees. Or, perhaps they are milking the cash cow at the last minute, getting people to send in their applications so they can get their $30 with no intention of letting them into the show?

I have an issue in general with shows that charge nonrefundable application fees, but unfortunately, many shows are going that way. I can certainly understand charging a reasonable fee to review your work but $30? I think that's excessive. I applied to this particular show last year in the photography category (hand-colored Polaroid Transfers) and got turned down, so I will probably not apply again, certainly not in that medium. If you think you have a good shot at getting into this type of show and have $30 to risk, I suggest giving it at shot, but if you get turned down, don't apply to the show again, you're just throwing your money away.

Also, I have only ever been rejected by two other local juried fine art shows, both at the very most high end of the spectrum where the competition is the heaviest. Application fees are $35 - $45 for these shows. They get hundreds of applications and only let in a few, exploiting artists to raise money to fund their art museum and art school, which I think is despicable. I never applied to them again either, but my point is I don't typically get turned down for juried shows, and the show I am referring to here is certainly not high end. I entered it because I thought surely I would be accepted since I generally am.

I would rather pay a higher space rental than risk paying money for nothing, so I would like to see these shows change their application process and stop charging excessive non-refundable fees, especially in this economy.