I have been struggling with words and pinning myself down, getting in a pickle. When I took part in the Crafts Council Hot House in 2014 at one event Wayne Hemmingway gave a talk about how you describe yourself and at the time asked who was a jeweller to raise their hands - then he went on to point out that by describing yourself as a jeweller you are putting yourself in a box. Others will struggle to see you as anything else.
Fast forward to nine years later (why am I so slow to learn some of these lessons?) and I was at another brilliant event talking to Dan Goode and he made a very insightful comment about how I do or don’t describe myself. I use the language of sculpture when talking (not writing) about my work. It is something that has been trying to find a space for a while, but in between the busyness of life it’s been squashed and squeezed, so I am going to try to find the space/create the space to articulate some of this gradually over time. It will not be clean and neat, I may go quiet, life may get in the way, but I am going to try and share some of the puzzling/wrestling/not knowing and see where it takes me.
So what am I? Contemporary jeweller, artist, sculptor, and all the other descriptors/hats I claim.How do I describe what I do/make to satisfy the algorithm to help sales, cue an existential crisis? I am not going to try and define a whole genre, (I have already spent an hour getting lost down a wormhole thinking about how to redescribe something that others have already written about) so I am only going to write about my sticky path to describing myself and finding a niche.
Ultimately I want more visibility because that will maybe help people who resonate with my work to find it and buy it. That’s another part that is uncomfortable, putting myself out there and asking or sharing that my work is for sale. But of course it is, and I love meeting customers who love and treasure my jewellery and wear it often or keep it for special occasions. I am more than comfortable setting out my stall physically and meeting and chatting with customers, but online it feels harder. What do you find tricky?