Posts Tagged With: jewelry

Tempt Your Senses: See

With over 200 exhibitors working in wood, paint, silver, wool, chocolate, clay, silk and much more, Kentucky Crafted: The Market is a sense explosion. That’s why we chose “tempt your senses” as this year’s theme. We dare you to come to the Lexington Convention Center on March 2 – 3 and be tempted by all of the music, textures, smells, sights and tastes offered by Kentucky’s best artists and crafts people.  It will be impossible to walk away empty handed.

The Market experience is all about spectacle. Part of this visual excitement comes from the energy of the wonderful crowds filling the exhibit hall. But the majority comes from the myriad of palettes used by Kentucky Crafted artists. The colors are simply amazing, covering the spectrum from earthy, soft and tranquil to electric, vibrant and blaring. It’s like Carmen Miranda’s hat, a Monet painting and a Persian rug all in one package.  Don’t be overwhelmed, though. The idea is to take the aisle tour, one booth at a time, savoring all the sights and deciding what absolutely must come home with you.

Schall Studio & Design – Booth 320

dinnerware, green, orange, red, yellow

Like a perfect marriage, this dinnerware both complements and competes with food to make a beautiful table.

J. D. Schall is a master at achieving the clean lines and eye-pleasing functionality of modern design. His forms are simple, durable and practical. The key to his aesthetic is using brilliant glazes to create beauty without unnecessary fussiness and filigree.

Calan Originals – Booth 440

Calan Originals box

Walnut, cherry, bubinga, oak, pine. I can only name a few, but the hardwoods making up these boxes all bring their own hues and patterns to the sensory party.

“Wood” is not a color. Wood has many colors and variation, and it takes a skilled craftsperson to bring out the natural gradients in a common or exotic wood.

Truly Wearable Art – Booth 317

Laverne Zabielski

With sewn-in movement and magnificent colors, this skirt is impossible to ignore.

Laverne Zabielski creates couture quality hand-felted alpaca and merino wools as well as  Shibori-dyed silks. Her fabrics can be found on red carpets, but are also perfect for your rainy-day shawl.

Ed Newell Photography- Booth 447

Ed Newell

Did you know nature has a “best side?” Ed Newell found it.

You can look at an Ed Newell image and almost swear that these colors don’t exist in Kentucky or even on Earth; however, cameras don’t lie. Color is dependent on light, and Ed Newell knows just when light will reflect off an object in just the right saturation to bring out these impossibly beautiful scenes. Ed Newell is a new exhibitor in 2013.

Dancin’ Dog Designs – Booth 452

This is how you “make a mountain out of a mole hill,” or in this case, a segment of quartz.

Some artists add color to the bland, and others recognize the potential of colors found in nature. Dwayne Cobb uses the natural variations in metals, stones, gems and glass to create whimsical human-like forms, creatures and landscapes to adorn your neck and wrist.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Are your sense tempted, yet? For more peeks and previews, check out our titillating Pinterest board.


Categories: Other, Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Rings to Riches

Although June has long passed, we’re  still thinking about weddings at the arts council. This is because we were recently forwarded a great  e-mail  from Kentucky Crafted artist Mark Needham explaining how he turned one couple’s flimsy but significant memento into an heirloom piece of art. The tale covers three years and most of the Commonwealth. It’s the story of the showy and wonderful things we do to celebrate life’s big events, but also the sweet, private things that can often mean so much more.

Greg and Shavonna met in October of 2009 at Western Kentucky University’s Leadership Assessment Center in Bowling Green. During that time, they struck up a friendship. Although they lived in different cities, they kept in touch. After many e-mails, texts and phone calls, they had their first date on Valentine’s Day of 2010. In March, Greg presented Shavonna with a vending machine ring from a Chinese buffet in Louisville. He called it his “practice proposal.” Appreciating the sentiment behind the gesture, Shavonna kept the ring. His official proposal took place in early May of 2010, with a wedding planned for August.

But Greg couldn’t wait. Shavonna visited him  in his hometown of Paducah over Father’s Day. As she was packing to leave, she received a text reading “Why don’t we just go ahead and get married today?!”  She said yes, and although she had to wear the same clothes she wore the Sunday before, she was able to carry real magnolias from her sister-in-law’s yard to the Justice of the Peace. Anyone who has ever tried to buy fresh magnolias knows that’s a fancy bouquet! Greg was concerned that he wouldn’t have a ring for her, but Shavonna saved the day by pulling out the presumed-forgotten vending machine ring. After a brief honeymoon in Mayfield, they had to return to their separate cities.

Shavonna and Greg did have a “real”ceremony in August, and were finally able to be together in the same city! The vending machine ring broke (it wasn’t built for long-term use),  and she wore her grandmother’s plain gold band instead. Greg surprised her on their first anniversary with a solitaire, although she had actually asked for a digital camera (luckily she got that, too).

Shavonna and Greg have been happily married for two years, and they have an exceptional little family. This past May they visited Paducah’s annual Lowertown Arts and Music Festival. As they browsed the artists’ booths, they found Mark Needham from Louisville.  Given the nature of his beautiful jewelry, Shavonna immediately told him about the broken vending machine ring she had kept all this time.  She commissioned a “renewed” ring to wear on her right hand.

Although this story belongs to Shavonna and Greg, we think it illustrates a great point about buying handmade items from Kentucky artists. Artists do more than create art; they are also creative thinkers with the ability to turn “old nothings” into “new somethings.” Is there a trinket or a piece of ephemera in your life that could use the artists’ touch?

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Categories: Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

There’s only six months until Christmas!

Aside from Santa Claus, most people aren’t thinking about Christmas in July. However, my mother is the hardest person to buy Christmas gifts for in my family, so I have to start really early. She has almost everything, and she won’t wait around until Christmas to get what she doesn’t have. Two years ago, it was only a few days before Christmas, and I still hadn’t found anything for her. I had been looking all over Lexington and Louisville.  I had picked things up and put them back. I had even bought one item and returned it, deciding it was inadequate.

My final hope was at a local store that sells only Kentucky-made, handcrafted gifts. I searched frantically, and then a pearl caught my eye. It was a literal pearl on a silver necklace with an organic swirl design by Josephine Lamb Williams of Mayapple Creations. It was perfect, but because of the fine materials I just assumed I couldn’t afford it. I was ecstatic when I looked at the price tag. I also felt good about purchasing an eco-friendly, 100 percent-recycled silver product.

My mother's Mayapple Creation necklace.

My mother loved it. I liked it so much that I went back and bought a similar piece for myself. If you have someone in your life that is hard to buy for or if they have expensive taste beyond your budget, you can browse Mayapple Creations on her website or on the arts council’s Kentucky Crafted Directory.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

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There’s Only Six Months Until Christmas!

Categories: Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness.

There are several good resources for learning how to market your artwork but not many for learning how to sell it. These two things are quite different. Marketing is concerned with presenting your work to the public. It mainly involves communication from you to them. Selling involves coming to an agreement with an individual. The communication between you and the customer is interactive. If you focus exclusively on what you should say you stop listening. This creates an uncomfortable atmosphere that makes selling more difficult.

In his book “Secrets of Closing the Sale,” Zig Ziglar states that selling is “transference of feeling.” Negativity of any type will cause you to lose sales. But, if you enjoy making your work, if you’re glad when you enter your studio and excited when you finish a piece, you can share those feelings with your customers. Bring the enthusiasm that comes from creating things with you to the art festival, and make your booth a happy place. The more you worry about selling the less effective you’ll be at it.

"Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” George Sand

Julia Weber’s jewelry booth is a delightful place. During Kentucky Crafted: The Market I find myself dropping by for an energy boost when I feel drained. I called her for some insight on bringing positivity to the sales process.

Craig: “I enjoy watching you talk with your customers because there’s not a hint of tension. How do you establish such a natural rapport with people?”

Julia: “No matter how busy it becomes, I make it my goal to meet every individual as an individual and treat them as such. I make myself available to them and make that initial human connection. Then, instead of trying to get something from them I provide what they need from me. The whole reason I make jewelry is so that people can enjoy the gift of creativity that I’ve been given. The customers who come to my booth give me an opportunity to share what I’ve been blessed with.”

C: “Many potential buyers will ask artists how long it takes to make their work. How do you handle this potentially troublesome question?”

J: “I don’t see it as a troublesome question. People are not always good at saying what they mean. When they ask this question they are really showing a sincere interest in my creative process. They truly want to know how I do what I do. That’s an opportunity to educate, so I freely share what I know. This turns people’s brains on and when they know what it takes to make my jewelry they place more value on it. As an artist, you know what you are doing when you create something. If you can communicate that to someone else, it only increases the value of what you do.”

C: “So your selling process doesn’t involve a sales pitch?”

J: “I don’t have to make a pitch. People come to art shows because they are interested in art. The only thing I have to do is let them know what goes into my work and how valuable it is. Then it sells itself. I never have to push something to sell. If someone is willing to pay you for your art, it’s because they admire your artistry not your salesmanship.”

See Julia’s page in the Kentucky Crafted online directory.

 Craig Kittner, arts marketing director

Categories: Visual Arts | Tags: , , , , ,

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