Sunday, October 31, 2010

Winner, British Bead Awards 2010

I am so very pleased to announce that my piece, "Geology", has won First Place in the "Other Finished Bead Jewellery" category of the 2010 British Bead Awards. This piece is a personal favorite of mine, so I couldn't be happier.

I'm also quite happy, as this is actually a piece that failed to place in a different contest earlier this year (followers of my blog may recognize it).

In the past couple years, there has been a lot of interesting writing in the blogosphere about jewelry design contests and what it means for artists to put themselves out there to enter contests - and how it feels if their pieces do not make the cut. Most of this dialogue has been in connection with the Bead Dreams competition (in fact, if you are not already familiar with it, I highly recommend you visit "Didn't Make it into Bead Dreams - But Still Winners!" on Facebook which contains photos from interested contributors of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous designs I have ever seen), but I think what these artists have to say ring true for any contest or submission process.

I don't think there could possibly be a person out there who doesn't feel at least a little depressed to receive a notice of rejection, whether it be for a magazine project, book proposal, contest or what have you. An artist always has an investment in what she creates and a sense of pride (or at least she should!) - it's hard not to take it personally when someone tells you that the piece doesn't fit or isn't exactly what they're looking for. I think it's so important in these instances to remember that judging any design is subjective and that not all judges will agree on what makes a piece outstanding or even use the same criteria for what makes a piece suitable for a particular category of design.

I've done pretty well by the contests I entered in 2010, but, believe me, I've had my fair share of rejections, too, including the one for which "Geology" was originally entered. However, as I said, I really like this piece - I had and continue to have a positive feeling about it. So, when I had the opportunity to enter it in the British Bead Awards, I moved forward. And I think the award is much more meaningful to me, as a result of this history.

As if that weren't enough, I have also earned Second Place in the "Metal Clay Jewellery" category of the 2010 British Bead Awards for "Words of Love". I created this piece specifically to enter the British Bead Awards. As I mentioned earlier, the design was pretty experimental for me - one of those concepts I wasn't sure anyone but me would actually like, so I'm quite excited to have placed with this design as well.

Thank you so much to Bead Magazine and to the judges of the British Bead Awards. I'm so grateful to have been a part of the Awards this year, and - my favorite part - I can't wait to see the other finalists' designs when they're published later this winter!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finalist, British Bead Awards 2010

The winners will not be announced for a few more weeks, but I can now share the news that I am a finalist in the 2010 British Bead Awards. Here's one of my two pieces. As you can see, I've continued with my "Love is a Puzzle" series, here, this time with a word search design instead of a maze.

I called it "Words of Love", but that's actually a bit of a misnomer, as there's only really one loving word in this piece. Can you find it? I've designed mazes before (at least on paper - "The Way to My Heart" was my first attempt to translate one into silver), but this was my first attempt at putting together a word search. I wanted to ensure that there was only one solution to this puzzle, but I found it was irritatingly difficult to prevent myself from unintentionally spelling words when putting this together. I think I managed it, though. I think. (If you find any others, don't tell me - I don't want to know!)

As usual, this piece was inspired by my son's love of puzzles. As a preschooler, the Short One's spelling is still pretty shaky, but it doesn't prevent him from poring over word search puzzles and making up his own words. As for me, I just thought the display of letters had nice, graphic appeal and tried to translate that into a piece of jewelry. I made this piece specifically to enter this year's British Bead Awards. I wasn't really sure anyone else would agree with my point of view on this one, so I'm particularly pleased that "Words of Love" was juried into the finals. Winners will be announced at The Big Bead Show in England on October 30, 2010. Wish me luck!

Go here to find out more about the British Bead Awards and to see a photo of my prize-winning piece from 2009 ("Cabinet of Curiosity", pictured at the bottom of the page on the right hand side).

ps. For anyone interested, the beautiful, rough crystals I strung with the pendant are green garnet.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Psst, There's a Giveaway Going On!

Andrew Thornton is giving away a set of my more seasonal (my favorite season, really) work on his blog this week. Yep, all five charms will go to one lucky winner next week. Please go here to enter!

As for me, just hang that scarlet letter "A" on me right now, for "Absentee". Absentee Blogger, Absentee Beader, Absentee Beadmaker. I can hardly believe it, but I haven't touched a single bead in over a month, either to string or make. Somebody help me snap out of it. Please!