If you are like me, you feel like your skills will never meet those of established jewelry artists. Not those who work for large jewelry businesses, but those whose photos appear on sites like Pinterest. The intricate wraps, and innovative mounts holding semi-precious gemstones are intimidating! You also cannot depend on the opinions offered by friends and family. They might not know the first thing about wire wrapped jewelry, or hope you’ll reward their favorable opinions with free jewelry. Have you considered entering a jewelry contest?
Jewelry contests can create name recognition, but also lets you hear opinions from people, known for their own design talents. They have an eye for structure, form and durability. Your entry’s winning, placing or warranting honorable mention adds a little prestige to your portfolio, and ethical padding to your resume, if you seek work teaching jewelry sculpture skills.
Best of all, you can try new bead and wire combinations, and get feedback, before you try selling similar pieces. Why waste time and money creating several unusual pieces, then discovering the market won’t accept them? Instead, enter a contest and get a relatively free analysis of a single piece, before placing its image on your website.
I won’t be ready, this year, but I’m working on a few designs for next year’s contests. I’ve chosen beautiful cloisonnes focals, Swarovski crystal beads and a peacock blue/green rattail cord for my first piece, and may continue that color scheme through a broach and ring. It won’t be a set, but the pieces will be compatible.
Have you considered entering a jewelry contest?