Friday, December 7, 2012

My Jewelry Debuts at a Gallery

Hello friends.  My first consignment opportunity debuted on December 5, 2012 at Harper College at Studio V. I am excited to share the story with you as well as the process on how this came to fruition, as I know that many who will read this blog are fellow jewelry/wire artists. Below is a photo of the outside of Studio V.

                                                              Here is a photo that I took of the front of Studio V

 This all started when I got word that the college was going to have a freestanding and professional gallery storefront on the campus in the Chicago area. I am actually an alum of the school and am familiar with the campus.  I sent the Studio an e mail inquiring about submitting.  They asked me to provide them with my website and three photos of my work.  After doing that I was asked to meet with them and bring several pieces in for them to see.  Last week I met with the Studio's visual fashion merchandising professor at Harper College who spearheaded Studio V (that is a Roman Numeral V for the five senses).  He was very positive about my jewelry and price point.  He referred to my wire wrapping as "Fashion Jewelry."  This was a term I had not considered my jewelry falling under, but I rather liked this description.  He compared and contrasted this to fine jewelry such as wedding and diamond engagement rings that you find at mall retail stores.   After he agreed to accept my jewelry on consignment we talked about the business aspects.  He then showed me a locked jewelry glass display case for which my jewelry would be shown.  The following week on December 5, I brought in 18 pieces of jewelry and all my display items.  The merchandising professor and one of his merchandising students took my jewelry and the displays and shared these items with an entire class of merchandising students that day where they went to work making a display for my jewelry in the locked glass case.  They augmented the display by scattering small white Christmas light bulbs at the bottom of the display.  Very cool!!  In addition to having my jewelry debut on December 5, Studio V was also having an open house that night complete with hor' d'oeuvres and wine. My supportive husband and I attended this well planned and professional event. While at the event, we saw fashion clothing, fragrant organic soaps, artwork, jewelry, glass work and other design elements which were wonderful to behold. 

                                                                                         Open house invitation

 Constructing the display and other logistics are outlined below

About two years ago, my stepfather, Artie, made me some merchandising displays for my jewelry.  They are basically small black wooden stands for jewelry cards and then some various heights of  wooden square pillars painted in three colors (fawn brown, soft turquoise and cream) for which to display the card stands upon. I'm glad that he created this for me, as I was able to use these in my display. 

                                                            The pillars Artie made for my jewelry display

               This is one of the many jewelry card stands that Artie made for me.  The pillars are not shown.  

The jewelry card stands are pretty cool.  The slots are at an angle and the cards rest back to easily display the card and jewelry.  It is perfect for small necklaces, earrings and even bracelets.  

To prepare for this event, I made the jewelry cards, as shown above, went to my local custom rubber stamp store and had them make three rubbers stamps with my logo/logos.  I also fancied up some brown boxes with my logo. 

                                                            The three rubber stamps

                                                       This is my secondary logo.  My first is the lotus with the OM symbol. 

                                                           Here you can see the use of two of the stamps on the box

                   Here I am seeing the display for the first time.  Notice the small light bulbs at the bottom of the case. 

Creating and sharing what I design and wire wrap has been a constantly evolving journey (and still is).  A little over a week ago I didn't know that I would display my jewelry in a studio, a little over a year ago I didn't know that my "lessons" would be shared in a magazine, a little over two years ago I was frightened by the thought of writing my first tutorial, but since then I have written four and am currently working on two more.  What makes this possible?  I can't say for sure, but feel it has a lot to do with positive affirmations from the jewelry community and the emotional support from my family and friends.  If you are a jewelry artist and have had reservations about sharing your work it is my hope that some of this has inspired or helped you in some small way to get your work out there and noticed. 


  1. Oh Susan! How wonderful for you! I'm slow finding your post, but now that I found it, I need another. How did you do? How do you feel about the whole adventure? Were you nervous? I would be. Did you get a lot of productive feedback? What was the biggest thing you took away from this adventure? Ah well, I guess you can figure how curious I am. But, I am also so happy for you and so proud! Everything looks marvelous and I love the stands that Artie made for you. They look fabulous with the super creative and elegant cards that you made. I'm hoping all goes well for you and that it is profitable as well as fulfilling. Props to you, Susan!!!!

  2. it all looks so beautiful and professional, like a display in a fine jewelry store! good luck with everything you do <3 *hugs*

  3. Hello Tela and Denise. Thank you both for your comments. I too have been slow to respond. Must be that holiday rush and a new job for me. Thank you, Tela, for your thoughtful questions. To sum it the best I can, I would have to say that this was all a rush for me personally. At the time of being giving this awesome opportunity, I was also working on a tutorial (and still am), but I also accepted a job in retail at the busiest time of the year. It is all wonderful. Here are the answers to your specific questions: How did I do? So far my inventory is half gone from the case, so I would say that I did smashing great. This is more than I could have ever imagined. Did I get a lot of feedback? On the night of the Open House I got to witness people looking at my jewelry who were unsolicited and seemingly interested discussing my work!! That tickled me more than anything. What was the biggest thing that I took away from this adventure? It is all big, but just knowing that my work is behind a locked case for people to investigate and discuss is heart warming. I have been asked to do a workshop on wire weaving at the college and in essences, my work may very well inspire others to learn the technique of wire weaving and metal forging. Since I am very shy about selling my own work this opportunity is perfect for me. It also has encouraged me to create more pieces and makes my mind wheels turn to think of the next necklace or earring project. I am so glad that you helped me to see this process through your thought provoking questions. I will be back to write more soon.



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