Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Along with the jurors also being the art police, we have seen an increase in promoters using crafters to be the  buy-sell police.  This leaves the acused crafter to redeem himself on the word of a crafter who's motives might not to be pure.   It happened to  artisans we know and wonder if anyone else have seen this? It makes us feel like anyone can turn you in on a whim or vendetta. Knowledge is power.


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"This temporal series of sculptural glass works speak to my intensely spiritual digression into the quintessence of sympatico."


Yes, Twaddle. These are the people who take themselves waaaaayyyyy too seriously. And then to be told YOU don't understand?

You take your work seriously, but don't take yourself seriously.

wrong location in thread, deleted, sorry

In response to: Reply by Diane Wright on February 11, 2011 at 9:19pm

Although I am generally annoyed by "bead stringers," I force myself to slow down and look more closely. There is a huge market for the work and I have bought it myself. And yes, designing an effective arrangement of beads and components and using quality materials and putting it all together with enough skill that it does not fall apart are WAY more than B/S. There is a continuum of quality and skill. It does not harm my sales to be next to a crafter who does wonderful strung bead work. Not my forté, but legit.

I wish I knew!  But then again... if the nasty little secret was out on where to get the stuff to buy/sell, then we probably wouldn't have this big of a problem!  It just so happened this jewelry store owner was also an artist, so he looks at how things are made, an he had JUST been looking at this catalog of amber items from Russia.  So, it was pretty obscure that it would have been the SAME thing the poser was selling in her booth!  From the sounds of it, however, it was that obscurity that the woman was counting on! 


Just to add one thing, however... There was one jeweler at a show I've done who in his first 2 years of doing the show won "best in jewelry".  He had lovely lapidary items set in sterling bezels and while one could catagorize this as "ordinary", they were interesting.  I looked at his schedule, however, and he literally had shows scheduled every weekend from May to October (and even some into the winter months), and they were all over the place!  I asked how much inventory did he have to amass over the hiatus to be able to keep himself stocked all the time.  He just stated that he brought things along and worked on things in his hotel room.  While we've all done this, I just found it very suspicious that he could do THAT much work on items that you sort of need equipment to do - particularly since he was only driving a small sedan!  Last year he did not place in jewelry at the show and I wonder if he'll return this year.  Rumors have been swirling that he was B/S, but without that hard proof, how can you really accuse him of wrongdoing?  Perhaps he is just a lot more efficient in the studio than I am!!

If a person is making their own bezels and such....Like soldering, piercing them you do when  you make them yourself...well...I don't know a single hotel that would allow an acetylene torch in the well as a foredom and NO. You cannot make those in your hotel room. He is most likely buying the settings, setting them and using a burnishing tool or glue. 

THat's the only way one can make those in a hotel room. I am a metalsmith and there is NOTHING I can make in a hotel room. I can put earwire on...that's about it. My studio is a filthy chemical and hazordous place to be. Two torches, kilns, polishing compounds, shavings everywhere...

If is sounds to good to be true...THEN is USUALLY IS....and here's what makes my blood boil HE WON AN AWARD 1!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

THere is NO way he can do that many shows and make that...IS that THIS hard to figure out!!!??

I can't take this conversation anymore....

Besides the catalogs there are many websites, of course, for buy/sell. Here is a recent one that landed in my mailbox, Although it looks like a very legitimate export sales site from Thailand and they are selling goods handmade in Thailand, there are many links that would be useful for a buy/sell agent.

Here's one I check occassionally.  This is a "source for product" website.  Type in something like wooden bowls and find out the things that come up!

You can change it at any time. It won't do any harm. The problem is the 100 character is the default and I think it goes up to 500 characters. 200 is definitely better than 100.

Larry Berman
Art Show Jury Services
Let me make some clarification. The statement is worthless unless the jurors read it (or have it read to them) and then spend some extra time looking at the work to understand what the artist is saying. The problem with the current jury system is that while the statement is being read to the jurors, they are entering the scores, negating the usefulness of the statement.

Larry Berman
Art Show Jury Services
Applause, applause for LArry here...

"This temporal series of sculptural glass works speak to my intensely spiritual digression into the quintessence of sympatico."



I think that "Artist's Statements" should be in their own category!

If I had any talent at word-smithing, I'd be a writer. Do poets have to submit hand-painted self-portraits in order to be accepted into contests?

When I was in grad school getting my MFA in Jewelry and Metals, the head of our program insisted that all artists should be able to explain their work in writing. He said that when mounting the MFA show, all pieces had to have a one page artist statement explaining both the inspiration behind the work, the technical aspects, and why the techniques/imagery chosen were the best way to express our idea.  Since we “had” to have that at the end of our time in the program, we’d better learn to start writing them right away. Nothing produced more grumbling among the incoming students than this requirement. I have always written, so to me it was no big deal. If you can’t explain what is going on in your own mind, who can?


To get students over that initial difficulty, the next head of program set up mandatory group critiques. Being questioned, in a non-judgmental fashion, by other students sitting around  a table, even the most inarticulate among us quickly learned to explain and defend their work.


I noticed that over the time I spent in the program (and it took me 7 years! One class at a time….), the grumbling gradually disappeared. Everyone who learned to do it, learned to value it.


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