Everyday I have worked in my studio and now my signature is needed for most of my jewelry. This is a job that Barry my husband does. I do the signing on a special background and he places the signature on the suede on the back of the pieces. Once it is done, we will start gearing up for a show this weekend in Wichita, Kansas.
It is organized by the Museum of Art and I hope their publicity will bring us lots of buyers and lots of sales. We have never done this show before and we have never been to Wichita. So we are going on a real adventure. Discover Wichita and discover what makes the people there respond to my work or ignore it.
The life of an artist is rather solitary. I work by myself all the time. Almost. I don’t need to mention my inner voice that leads me to new designs to new ways of creating a piece so as to keep my work always fresh, always new. After all, the pieces are all one-of-a-kind. My customers expect it. And I am so glad not to have to repeat myself. It would be a bore.
Breaks are like a breath of fresh air. I come up to listen to the birds, see the garden, see the light and the mountains, let my mind pause and reflect. It is good to take a look at the world that constantly changes at every moment. In the afternoons after three I listen to NPR on the radio and strangely it does not seem to affect my work when I make jewelry; but when I paint, I need the silence of the soul as each stroke leads me to the picture I want and see in my imagination.
As I listen to the news about the world, I shiver as I hear some and rejoice at others. News is someone’s rendition of the facts; I take it all with a grain of sand.
Then there is all the jewelry to price and tag. A job that I do alone knowing about what the gemstones are, the elements I bought at the last bead show, the amount of work on each piece and finally putting a price to what I have done. It goes very fast. I listen to my inner voice as a price comes to my ears as if I someone had placed it there for me to transfer to the paper. The wonderful intuition in action for which I feel blessed and that I trust completely.
Then I organize everything by colors. It goes in a box, well cushioned, ready for the trip. Then there is the project of loading everything in the van.
We use it just for traveling to shows and it is crammed with light racks suspended from the ceiling, bins of gift boxes, a collection of pens, little bags I use for earrings I sell, plus my cards, tissue paper, display material, extension cords, bins with table covers, photos of my jewelry enlarged for the walls, and of course the canopy and its covers. Walls and roof. And there is more.
We also need to pack our credit card machine, our calculators, my tools and of course the findings to change earrings to clasp or to post and to create a smile on the faces of our customers.
Did I forget anything? We need to pack our clothes for warm and cool weather, our meds or food supplements, our shoes and all the necessary paraphernalia to look good or decent.
And there is the house, watering the plants, securing the doors, the lights, holding the mail, the sprinkler system and at last sometimes let the neighbors know we are leaving.
Finally we review our show checklist to make sure we do not forget anything.
One time we forgot the roof to our canopy. Another time the covers for the tables. So we learned and have made a list to ensure we forget nothing. Hopefully.
When we get in our van ready to leave, I get to anticipate the road ahead. The beauty of the earth as we go along and I marvel at the curves of the land, blades of grass bending under the wind and birds flying off as we approach the arc of their flight. When I drive, I focus on the road and my mind is free to imagine. A trip to a show is for me a hard working vacation, a break from my studio and once at the show, the joy of meeting strangers, people who can become friends or remain clients. I smile at them all and rejoice, no matter how early I have to start the day, it is a fantastic adventure, a new city, and the promise of a new experience with all that the word entails.
The tough work does not matter.
I still remember the field of sunflowers on the way back from Omaha displaying their petals as far as the eyes could see. The yellow on the bright sky crying for joy.
Traveling by road has its infinite beauty, a chance to visit the places of the earth that we know or the ones reserving their grace for our eyes.
Our show will bring just that. Time to go!
Copyright 2010 Micheline Brierre