I’m heading back to Gahanna Bead Studio near Columbus Ohio at the end of this month to teach!  There is still a bit of room in each class.

Airline tickets have been purchased and when I wrote this little blurb, I’d already sent out one box for a trunk show.  There should be many more boxes in the mail by the time this scheduled post hits.  Look for kits, tutorials, lampwork beads by both Shawn and I, finished jewelry and beaded objects.

I’m teaching two classes. To sign up, head to their website http://gahannabeadstudio.com/calendar/

Nouveau Vines Bracelet – Jan 25

 

Russian Treasure Bauble or Bracelet – Jan 26

 

Bead & Button 2020 Classes open for registration today!

I’m teaching two classes.  Photos of each are below.  To see more views and to register, follow the link.

http://www.beadandbuttonshow.com/store/classes?date=&time=&techniques=&skillLevel=1or&teacher=V002359&price=&classType=&q=

Nouveau Tendrils Bracelets

Bauble for a Romanov

 

Jewelry Consignment – Should You Try It?

Originally written For Artisan’s Jewelry Times, 2016.  I thought that I had already posted this, but can’t find it in my blog.  So if you’ve already read this, my apologies.

I often get approached at shows about consigning at galleries, and my bet is that if you make and sell jewelry online or at shows then you’ve had these requests as well. You’ve probably even considered consignment, but before you do it, you’ll want to do some careful research first about the shop.

I have had some wonderful experiences consigning. In particular, I’ve enjoyed consigning my work with two separate museum shops in Taos, New Mexico, as well as a wonderful experience with the John Hines History Museum gift shop in Pittsburgh. Museum shops are usually run beautifully. They have all their paperwork above board and also tend to be organized.

A few times a year, I have a consignment/pop-up trunk show of jewelry and lampwork sculpture (as well as beads and patterns) at my local bead store. I work for her once a week, just doing her ordering and organizing, so she basically gives me a space and lets me set up any way I want. My work is generally only there for a week or two at a time, so it doesn’t get stale and I break down the show and clean up myself.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of consigning at galleries.

Pros:

·        As a consignor, an artist gets to keep all the legal rights to his or her work until it is sold. In this way, you can establish a name for yourself in any particular regional area.

·        You can elect to remove the work from your gallery at any time (although the gallery may ask for a certain amount of time between the request and removal) and also can set the retail price. This means you can test new ideas, sell large scale, one-of-a-kind pieces, and also have your work on display somewhere while not doing shows or art fairs.

·        You can rotate your work on display, especially if the gallery is local.

·        Your work is more likely to sell if it is on display than languishing in your studio between shows.

·        The gallery takes responsibility for the overhead costs including rent, electricity, display, and promotion. Score!

Untitled1

 Mermaid’s Treasure Necklace – made from lampwork glass cabochons, abalone, mother of pearl, Czech and Japanese glass, sterling silver, shell shards and a crab claw lampwork pendant by Nancy Lawler.Sold via consignment. Photo by Hannah Rosner

Cons

·        Many galleries add a higher percentage to consignment pieces than pieces they buy outright. As a result, either your retail price has to be higher or you’ll end up making less per piece than outright wholesale.

·        In this economic climate, galleries are feeling the crunch. They need to have a full show floor in order to stimulate sales, but at the same time, many can’t afford to buy artwork outright. As a result, they offer a show space for you and pay you on a net-30 after they sell your item (in other words, they pay 30 days after the month in which it was sold). However, too often the demands of a brick and mortar shop take precedence over an artist who resides in another state. Faced with a utility bill versus paying an out-of-state artist, the shop nearly always goes with the pressing demands of keeping the shop open first.

·        Galleries are often more careful with damage to and display of items that they have invested in rather than items that have been freely loaned.

·        Consignment pieces are often not protected by a gallery’s insurance in case of damage (fire, water, etc), theft, or bankruptcy. If a gallery closes due to any of these reasons, artists are often out money and possibly their work.

·        Unless you really dig paperwork, keeping track of where your artwork is, whether it has sold and whether it has been paid for can be a real headache. Perfect records are a must!

What can I do to protect myself?

I now have a written agreement when I agree to consign. It’s really boring and lawyerly sounding, but it really does the trick. I found mine online by doing a web search for “consignment agreement for artists” and changed to wording to suit my needs. If you need help finding one, feel free to email me.

Let me leave you with one final thought. I have met some of my very closest friends via the galleries through which I’ve consigned. I really have to give a thank you to a Celtic Arts Gallery in Pittsburgh for pushing me to sell my jewelry; at the time, I was really nervous about the salability of my work. The family-owned business gave me a wonderful community and some of my now-best friends to show our work. Further, it really gave customers the opportunity to buy local and to buy from a small business. I truly count myself as lucky.

Sell everything!

Hannah

 

The Book Shelf – Compiled by Hannah Rosner

A list of some books and a little web page for readers who would like to augment their Multimedia & Found Object Jewelry libraries

Steampunk Style Jewelry: Victorian, Fantasy, and Mechanical Necklaces, Bracelets, and Earrings by Jean (Cox) Campbell

A fun history of the Steampunk Genre and a good inspiration book that will allow you to see the possibilities in items you might otherwise overlook for your jewelry making stash.

The Art of Forgotten Things By Melanie Doerman

I’m primarily a seed beader, so this book really speaks to me.  Lovely combinations of seed beads and found objects.

The Jewelry Maker’s Design Book: An Alchemy of Objects By Deryn Mentok

A collection of artistically photographed pieces that may provide you some inspiration and ideas on using multimedia pieces within your work.  I expected with the name to get a book with Steampunk designs.  However, the book’s main designs uses heavy Christian religious pendants and symbolism within many of the projects.  You can view many of the projects for free on her lovely blog: http://somethingsublime.typepad.com/

Pulling Cane from Recycled Glass – Upcycled Glass Beads
Here’s a little webpage and free tutorial I wrote that will give you an introduction on how I made the glass beads that are featured in my article on multimedia jewelry.  If this idea speaks to you, however, I’d suggest following up with a much more comprehensive course by Bronwien Heilman (also mentioned in the article)

https://goodrivergallery.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/free-lampworking-tutorial-pulling-cane-from-recycled-glass-upcycled-glass-beads/

 

snowdrop

An Introduction to Multimedia Jewelry -By Hannah Rosner

Originally written for Artisan Jewelry Times

I’m primarily a seed bead artist and lampworker, so it stands to reason that I should be fascinated by other media, especially when I have a looming deadline.  This past year I took a full year away from bead shows to work on redesigning my teaching projects and to allow myself play time with multimedia design work.

When I think of multimedia jewelry, I think of two very different types of work.  The first is created from found object and upcycled materials.  The second uses fiber and other materials not usually found in jewelry.  I’m going to give you a short look at each.

FOUND OBJECT AND RECYCLED MATERIALS JEWELRY

My very first introduction to found object jewelry was in 1993.  I’d taken exactly one metalsmithing class in my life when Robert Ebendorf, a leader in the studio jewelry movement, came to teach at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts where I was teaching a beginning class on beadwork.  Wholly unprepared, I decided to take the class and was thrown into a world in which doll parts and pieces of clock and some stuff I’m pretty sure was once alive was cobbled together into an extraordinary piece of sterling-silver-and-other-stuff adornment.  You can see his work by doing an internet search, checking Pinterest here (https://www.pinterest.com/lorenaangulo/bob-ebendorf/)  or checking out the small collection owned by the Smithsonian Museum here (http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/results/index.cfm?rows=10&q=&page=1&start=0&fq=name:%22Ebendorf%2C%20Robert%22) This was way before any of us knew what “steampunk” meant.  I couldn’t really take it, and made an enormous sterling silver pendant that used a tiny round opal one of my good friends had given me.  Doesn’t sound much like upcycling, does it?  That’s because it wasn’t, but it was all I could handle at the time.

Fast forward two decades, and upcycled steampunk[1] jewelry is everywhere.  Designs range from the simplest pieces – lampwork beads made on antique keys and sewing bobbins-  to complex designs with watch parts and cogs.  Its no longer against design rules to mix metals; copper, silver and brass all work together.

I like adding glass and silver leaf beads that have been lampworked from bottles to my seed bead work, but since its all glass its somewhat debatable as to whether it is truly multimedia.  It has been upcycled.

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Beaded Necklace Made with Upcycled Glass Beads.  Available on my Etsy

On the other hand, one of my very favorite bracelets by Bronwen Heilman combines upcycled lampworked bottle glass with bicycle inner tubes .  The final design is edgy and fun.  You can check Bronwen’s website (www.bronwenheilman.com) for classes at her Arizona studio on how to recycle glass into beads.  When I asked her about her work, she shared the following with me: “I am very excited to see that recycling and upcycling has become a jump-off point and not the final point [of a piece of art]. I like taking discarded objects and finding the beauty that these items never had.  I look beyond its original use and create a new definition, a new story.”

350-Jazz

Jean Cox has multimedia in both her cuff bracelet design and also in the idea behind it.  Her base for this was a found object – a shoe part!

“It’s fitting that Jules Verne is dreaming of time and space while floating above a coin commemorating the first lunar landing in this Steampunk-inspired piece. When deciding what to use for the base, I chose a rubbery shoe insert, which happily provided an almost chalkboard-like surface, complete with white lettering. The many spiraling jump rings that hold the metal pieces to the base give a Nicolai Tesla vibe, while the brass seed-bead edging adds a touch of Elizabethan elegance.”

FIBER AND NON-TRADITIONAL MATERIALS JEWELRY

We’ve actually already looked at a pair of pieces that use non-traditional materials in the use of bike tires and shoe soles,  but most of the non-traditional work I’ve done in the past few years combines fiber with my beadwork.  I suspect that this had a lot to do with my guilt in not using my theatre/costume design Master’s Degree.  I like the mix of textures that you can get by combining glass beads with fiber.  The spiky cuff bracelet I made using fiber and beads might look like it could do some harm, but those spikes are actually soft – they are made of zippers!  I taught this cuff (titled “Zipperlicious!”) a few years ago at Bead & Button and it was a hit.

Much of Sherry Serafini’s recent work also uses fiber .  Here’s what she has to say about multimedia in bead embroidery:

“Have no fear! Jump in and put whatever pleases you into your bead embroidery.  It is so much fun because there is no limit as to what you can do to your beadwork.   I like to think of my foundation as a blank canvas…adding beads as I go letting them tell me where. Fiber and found objects can lend a wonderful funky hand to your designs.  In the cuff shown, I’ve chosen to wrap wooden rings with silk ribbons and bead around those for my beaded art shown. Shibori….rayons….batiks….anything your heart desires can enhance and add to your already fabulous design!”

sherryserafiniphoto4

A lot of us have two things in common when it comes to multimedia jewelry.  Firstly, we are willing to play with designs and just see where they go.  I don’t tend to plan my own pieces out – instead they evolve on their own.  Secondly, if I see something that is interesting, my first thought now goes to “how can I use this in one of my pieces?’

There’s nothing too weird, to strange, too outlandish.  Be brave!

So, here’s my permission to you: Go Play and Go Have Fun

[1] Steampunk is a subgenre of design which fuses 19th century steam powered Industrial Revolutionary gizmos with Victorian design and science fiction/fantasy.  I love it.

Shawn and I will be selling at the Humboldt Marble Weekend!

Where: Redwood Acres Home Franceschi Hall, main building.  3750 Harris St, Eureka CA

When: noon-6pm.  February 8 & 9, 2019

Come on by and say hello!

For full details about the event as well as other events in the marble weekend drop on by their website.  https://www.humboldtmarbleweekend.com