Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Goldsmiths' Fair - The Other Side

Black jade earrings and brooch by Nicholas Yiannarakis

Platinum necklace by Tom Rucker
Here we are, the other side of Goldsmiths’ Fair.

This year, I was very pleased to be placed again in the drawing room (affectionately known as “the shiny room” owing to the higher-value work which tends to be displayed there). This space holds less than 20 exhibitors and is slightly more spacious (and much cooler) than the livery hall. As ever, I was surrounded by an array of humbling work. My next-door neighbour this year was Tom Rucker, who laser welds amazing Buckminster Fuller-esque structures from platinum wire. Opposite me was a former stand-mate, Nicholas Yiannarakis, whose tactile and elegant stone carvings are somehow both precise and organic. I was surrounded by outstanding work by brilliant designers and craftspeople, but what is perhaps more important is that these are people I am happy to be stuck spending a week with. And what better place to spend it!

The punters at Goldsmiths’ Fair are superbly appreciative. Never in the week did I feel I had to “sell” my work. These people know what they’re looking at and they recognise the effort and skill that goes into designing and making it. Contrast this with other fairs I’ve done in the past (and I blame myself for trying to pitch my jewellery to the wrong audience) where my pieces have been met with blank looks from a bling-hungry public, or worse – gasps of incredulity at the prices. But the admiring crowd at Goldsmiths’ makes all the hard work feel worthwhile; I feel vindicated in my dedication to designing and making beautiful, delicate, intricate pieces of jewellery.

All that preparation, the late nights, the running out to the stationers to get printer cartridges to chug out those last-minute price lists, the hobbling into the street in too-high heels to get a taxi to Goldsmiths’ Hall, giant suitcase in one hand, massive A0 poster in the other, plus a laundry bag full of acrylic display blocks slung over one shoulder. It’s not a glamorous job, getting ready for a show. But once you’re standing there behind your stand, with your work lit up and looking sparkly, and a glass of wine in your hand, life is good. 

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