Cornwall Crafts association – accepted good oh :)

Wato wato,

Fantastic news for me, I have been accepted by the Cornwall Crafts Association to have my work represented by them. The following is a link to ‘my’ page.

http://www.cornwallcrafts.co.uk/view-craftsmaker/221

Here in the U/K we have The National trust that looks after large parts of the countryside, including much of the coast path, and beautiful historic buildings and gardens. I have two of the silliest dogs in all of Christendom. Reen and I like to take them out to the beach or countryside to inflict them upon the innocent from time to time. Trelissick gardens, National Trust, is one such place overlooking the water with great walks and a garden to explore, is one such place we enjoy very much.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/trelissick-garden/

Cornwall Crafts Association has a gallery there, my work is now offered for sale alongside a diverse range of makers from ceramics, fine woodworking, woodturning, fabrics and paintings to name a small section, all handmade in Cornwall. Have a look, I feel sure you will gain much inspiration from the different makers, not only silversmiths and jewellery makers, presented as it is, in this exciting and vey attractive building in a sublime setting.

Fingers crossed that this will be the progression I need to take my craft to the next level, being as it is very important to sell so as to fund other ideas. As I feel sure you realise, materials are an expense that cannot be ignored. Without the outlets, sales are very difficult to realise.

When I started this blog I wanted to share my journey towards becoming a practicing, read productive and self funding, art metal practitioner. I am bound to say this is still somewhat of an ambition, rather than a reality at this time of writing. I found, indeed I still do find information and direction still very elusive, regarding how best to square the circle of finding outlets that best suit ones way of working. This is the start of a challenge that leads onto how best to present your wares to said outlets, making you stand out above the many other people wanting the same as you, to be represented and given the opportunity to support yourself in a chosen creative field.

To date not many have come forward with suggestions, or pointers, that can be shared with everyone as to how best to maximise your chances, I hope that will change. I wish to, eventually, be able to pass on, through experience, better still a combination input from readers and other craftspeople I meet up with along the way, better strategies. Helping to avoid the soul destroying hours of wasted time that are a result of, effectively, groping in the dark, looking for answers to questions that are only partly understood to start with.

I say this to the point of being repetitive and boring to the people who are unfortunate enough to know me personally. Practice does not make perfect, whatever people tell you this is not true. Think about it, if you do the wrong thing over and over, you will just get better at doing the wrong thing. You will perhaps become adept with a way that works for you. You may even be able to wear you ‘achievement’ like a badge, ‘thats the way I do it’.

I feel like I have become good at the wrong way, no need I feel. The trick is, like all learnable skills, finding the right place to gain the knowledge you need. I reiterate, I wanted to receive feedback that would enable be to ‘practice’ more productively , be it through the metalworking skills, or indeed the ability to ‘put yourself out there’ as it were.

I feel the professional images I had taken of my work really made the difference. I am pretty sure that had the photographs not been up to scratch, then I would not have been invited to submit a sample of my work for consideration.

Once I was invited I gave a broad range of my offerings to the panel. Bit of a panic as I was overjoyed to be invited, I was at a low point at the time and did not expect it. The application was borne out of desperation after a rather salty setback regarding my future as a maker. A lesson to all that beastliness by individuals should not be endorsed by capitulation. SOMEONE WILL LIKE WHAT YOU DO, if your approach is a little left field, you too may be unfortunate enough to suffer humiliation. Please think of it at their problem, not yours. To destroy takes little thought, why would you dwell on thoughtless people, stick to your goal and forge ahead I say.

I had some forged wire bangles that I have not photographed yet. They were not hallmarked at the time. I sent them anyway with a note explaining that I had just made them. I sent these to show that I could work in a different style to ensure that, should I be rejected, I could have asked for feedback as to how better to attract the panel. If I had not sent them and been rejected, then an opportunity to learn would have been missed. I still don’t know if it was perhaps the forged style that swayed them, perhaps they were more drawn to them rather than my repousse´ and chasing work, I will let you know!

So after all my ‘fishing’ I put in an application just days before they closed consideration for new makers for the remainder of the year. I did not try too hard, just sent off the form with the minimum of writing (no really!), the result was a fantastic achievement for me and one I hope you don’t mind me sharing. I have every bit as many hang ups about the desirability and validity of my work as the next person. In a sea of 360 degree landless horizons, if you stay floating long enough the sea will eventually lead you to land. A bit new age I know, however I feel it is a relevant thing to say in my situation up to this point. To embellish it a little more, the people who are in ships who throw things at you, trying to make you go under are cursing in that sea. Rest content in the assumption that they are lost also, but will not get off their boat.

All my very best wishes.

Stu Art 😉

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6 thoughts on “Cornwall Crafts association – accepted good oh :)

  1. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post this morning! I, too, tend to march to a different drummer, and have been a bit discouraged lately about my life as an artisan metalsmith. Your story is so much like mine, including the silly dogs, that it made me smile. Thank you for sharing your journey, bumps and all.

    • Good oh Julie, I’m very glad it made you smile, that was the point. I feel sure that in down times, if we look to other ways, to get out of our own way if you will, the day always looks a little better. I feel sad for all the people who could have contributed, perhaps went back to the real world, put down by a dream destroyer. Thank you very much for commenting,. All my very best wishes. Stu

  2. Loved reading this stu!I’m so pleased for you,and you really do deserve it!you have such great talent and like you say,someone out there will like your work,it just takes time and patience to get yourself known.x x

  3. First of all, congratulations on having your work accepted in the Cornwall Crafts Association! Your chasing/repousse work is stunning. I know how hard it is to find venues to exhibit/sale your work as a goldsmith.
    I really enjoyed your post, and especially your comment about how “practice does not make perfect”. I think most of us craftspeople who run our own studio tend to work in isolation. It’s not easy or practical to get serious, constructive feedback at the best of times.
    Thanks for this post.

    • Thank you for that, you have hit the nail on the head. I found many people in our craft content to evolve by accident. My wish has always to become a competent craftsperson first, the style and design to follow after a solid metalsmithing grounding. I find, as you rightly say, that meaningful, constructive feedback is very hard to achieve. I very much look forward to any/all comments, positive or negative, it is so important when a long term ambition is to wheedle out any skills that may be lurking, waiting for the right catalyst to realise.
      Thank you for your kindness regarding my chasing and repousse work. This is a good point in what I have tried to achieve. Through books and videos I am self taught. Where I was ‘educated’ the experience was there to instruct, alas it did not happen. I wonder at the results I could have achieved up to this point with the guidance I craved. This blog was started to enable me to learn and to assist others who have been ‘left at sea’ as it were, not having a clue where to go next. I am not fortunate enough to have a vision for my work, I just love to make things, this has sustained me through the troughs. My concern is for the truly creative people who have no ideas as to the hows of expressing themselves in this medium. From my perspective many give up frustrated, a hellish waste, unnecessary and tragic for them and for us as our ‘pond’ of skilled makers shrinks to the lowest common denominator.
      Please do keep in touch, I very much appreciate the time you have taken to comment. All my very best wishes.
      Stuie 🙂

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