Saturday, March 13, 2010

American Craft Council Show in Baltimore--Redux

So returned from "the show"- and am glad that I went--though honestly 4 days of hanging behind a table is a bit extreme--It was fitting that I was watching the olympics in the evenings as I truly felt as if I was engaging in an endurance sport by day! I did really enjoy the comraderie of my fellow artists who surrounded me--mostly from Baltimore (Elisa Shere, Val Lucas, Sherry Insley and Yasha Butler from NYC) though one also trekked east from Northern California (Banansaurus Rex!), which was really boosting when the energy level wained. And I even had the pleasure of visiting the booths of some of my uber fave jewelers--Denise Betesh..and Dahlia Kanner--so that was a real treat too.

As a result of this captivity some interesting things came out of the whole experience. As an artist who sells/exhibits their work-you do not often get to hear people's reactions to your work in such an immediate and intimate context. And it also forces you to be clear about your story and inspirations and significance of your work-since you have to really discuss it all day long. I found that I really enjoyed this aspect and was satisfied with people's reaction and take on my work-plus, I got to talk with many wonderful people.

I found particularly inspiring one woman's comments. She came by my table several times--feeling the bowls, pressing her fingers into the design in almost a meditative way. I could see that she was really contemplating it. She ended up buying one bowl and returning later on to purchase a second one--and then told me of how closely the imagery in the bowls represented what she was currently experiencing in her life and that it was offering her some peace and comfort.
I was so moved by her story.
It all confirms for me the power of an image and how a vision can assist us in different ways--sometimes people come and chuckle at the whimsy of a design-or like this woman feel the depth of it as it relates to something deeply personal. I think it is for me, one of the reasons I have been so drawn to photography and its captured combination of an emotion and an image. It is what I try to translate into clay and into pieces that can really be used-transcending just the pure aesthetic of it all.

Honestly, this woman's story made the whole show worth it for me-and encourages further exploration in my work.

Here's a plate--informed by a distinct image of a dress blowing in the deserted territory of Southwest  Texas on a recent road trip-a lonely feeling but -eerily hopeful too.