May 26, 2009 | Filed under: Uncategorized

We are all gearing up for the tour and look forward to a good turnout. The weather looks good, so it will be a lovely week end to visit 7 studios and 13 artists. Many new designs await your perusal. Visit www.BeyondtheValley.ca
The Artisans in the Distillery Show in the heritage Distillery District in Toronto was on this past week end. The weather was very good altho we were very cold on Saturday. The crowds were amazing which was great to see. Thank you everyone who came to my booth to see my work and also to those who took a piece or two home. It is always enjoyable to meet and speak with people who are obviously interested in the arts. There were many talented artists at the Distillery and the organizers are to be commended for an efficiently run show. I was very pleased with my location which was just excellent. This year the numbers exhibiting were larger, about 50 or so. Unfortunately 18 were jewellery designers. I say unfortunately, even tho I am a jewellery designer, because this is overkill and makes the show less attractive to the public. The show promoters cannot guarantee sales as no one can, but too many artists in one field can be a turnoff. I heard comments from the public going by, such as “lots of jewellers here” (not said with pleasure), “it looks like a jewellery show”, “not too much variety, is there” and so on. I think that all show promoters face this problem of too many jewellers applying-it used to be the same with potters. There is a need to fill the spaces in a show but a quota is also necessary. The Cabbagetown show in Toronto has a quota of 1 jeweller per 6 artisans and stick to it and it works.
The other point to ponder is “Are there too many Art and Craft shows and exhibits now”. As a result the offerings get watered down. I mentioned my foray into Barrie to Kempenfest last August in a previous post. The application said that the show was juried and that no mass produced or imported items were acceptable. HAH! There were many, many of these. In checking with the exhibitors around, the message was that once the booth was set up, no one asked any questions. The promoters main goal was to fill spaces and they succeeded by turning a blind eye. I was in the antique business for about 10 years. I remember participating in shows where the public lined up pre-opening and than ran in to get to their favourite dealers. This slowly stopped happening as more and more antique shows appeared. The result was lesser quality goods, as promoters tried to fill spaces, fewer sales and declining public interest. Christie’s Antiques show which was on this past Saturday still maintains its quality offerings-one of the best in the country.

But I need to stop expounding and get on to my work. I am going to continue blogging about stones. I have written about Jade, Turquoise and Amethyst. Next–PEARLS! Did Cleopatra really eat one?

Posted by Stephanie @ 9:24 am

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