Monday, November 9, 2009

ahhhh sofa

Well I am back. It has taken me this long to process SOFA and how everything went. Here are just a few things:

Helped Sienna man the booth. Met and worked with some awesome folks. BARBARA SEIDENATH, RAISS BUMP and LAUREN KALMEN. I also had a good time meeting some of the Cranbrook grad students and Stefan at the Ornamentum booth oogling Iris Eichenberg's work. Had drinks with Doug Bucci and Don Friedlich. There were lots of folks there that I wanted to talk to but didn't have that much time. Most of my days were spent stopping people from taking photos. Namita, one day, we are going to have lunch or a drink and sit and talk for a long, long time. I swear. What a great time. It was a whirlwind! Anne and Mark thank you so much for inviting me and of course I want to thank the Sienna Gallery for bringing me. Be friends with her on Facebook.

Now that I am back....

The best thing I learned about all this was what people buy at SOFA or maybe who buys at SOFA. For a long time I have subscribed to the notion of democratic design. Something for everyone. I truly believe that something great should not have to cost an arm and a leg. So maybe SOFA wasn't really the place for me. For people that have had the luxury of growing up napping on a Le Corbusier lounge or ate TV dinners off of an Isamu Noguchi table or even used a Peter Voulkos charger as a fruit bowl, congrats, officially I am jealous. REALLY jealous. Since good design was all around you when you were growing up it I believe it desensitized you to beautiful things. I saw a LOT of beautiful things at SOFA. If I had the money I would have bought most of it. On the other hand I saw a bunch of stuff that I wasn't so thrilled with. I am sure people looked at my work and said the same thing.

In my opinion, jewelry functions, for the most part, when someone wears it. If you are only making jewelry for the 5% of collectors or buyers that come to SOFA, then your piece should be made out of crystal skulls, mayan gold and the bones of the elephant man. A piece can be beautiful and not have to cost $50,000.00. Here is the problem. You gotta eat. You gotta pay your bills. You have to at least cover your costs of going to SOFA. I guess what I am getting at is that I think my prices were too low. The illusion of value wasn't there. I didn't think about all of the fees associated with a gallery going to SOFA. Its a whole new ball of wax. Booth fees, lights, paint, packaging, phone line for the credit card machine, lettering.....It is not your neighborhood craft show. It is a large machine with lots of high polished, quality parts that are expensive. It requires high test gasoline.

On another note, I had this "big idea" that didn't work. It was 66 separate brooches that when assembled together formed my hand. I used a 3D scanner and CAD software to generate these pieces and then fabricated silver sheet and pin stems for their backs. Priced at $100 each, which I might add barely covered the cost of the silver back and 3D print material, never even got touched. I had this great idea about tracking the pieces as they were sold who has what part. Joe Smith in Dallas, Texas had the tip of my thumb Jan Smith in California had a piece of the palm. etc etc etc. Out of the 66 brooches only one sold. oh well. Anyhoo enough of my babbling. Here are some images from the show!


  1. I dig the multitudes of brooches composing your hand…

  2. I absolutely love that you believe in democratic design. Especially with jewelry, I feel there is very little of innovative, quality jewelry from well-known artists that the average person could afford. But you make a good point about covering costs and the assumed value of work. Actually, I just bought a sculpture for $80 recently, which I knew was about half of what it should have cost, but if it had been $160, I simply would have lusted after it and said "I can't afford it right now". I could squeeze $80 out of my budget, though. Since I know the artist, I'll be gifting her some earrings to sort of make up the difference, as a surprise.

    You have the potential to go really high end with your work, and I think it would be interesting to see what you would come up with were you to do that.

    I'm so glad you got to go to SOFA, and I've loved seeing it through your 'lens'.

  3. Love the hand as well, great idea! If your going to SOFA NY expect to be missing at least one another piece :)

    If you think your pieces are a bit low why not make 1 or 2 pieces that have the same look/style but are much higher end in terms of materials/time etc. People will look at the higher end pieces, really like them, but most won't have the $$$ but may buy the lower end because they feel they at least have a part of the art in some way. The $$$ piece pulls them in and the lower end pieces butter your bead. Margaux does this very well.

    "In my opinion, jewelry functions, for the most part, when someone wears it." Love this.