One of my very favorite things about participating as an artist at festivals and shows has got to be the people I meet and the connections I make. It gives me such joy to have someone walk into my jewelry booth wearing a piece of my jewelry that they purchased at a previous show! It lets me know that what I do and how I choose to spend my time means something to someone - such a simple thing as handmade jewelry gives others happiness and makes their journey on this earth more pleasant.
At a show I did recently I had the extreme pleasure of watching a young couple pick out a gift for his mother for Mother's Day - this was two months before Mother's Day. I would have loved to have video taped their search for exactly the right gift of handmade jewelry for this most important woman. When they finally settled on a dainty sterling silver necklace with a heart stamped on it, they were so happy and completely satisfied that they had found the perfect gift.
How lucky am I? I get to be a part of all sorts of wonderful and warm interactions among people - it's just doesn't get any better than that!
Be happy today!
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Today has been a day for making silver rings. I participated in FestForAll and art and music festival which happens every year in my hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana this time of the year. Usually held the first weekend in April, this year the organizers decided to hold the festival the last weekend in March, in order to avoid a conflict with Easter.
I sold quite a few sterling silver stacking rings at the festival so today was one of the days I set aside for making more rings. Silver stacking rings are my favorites but I make lots of more complex ring designs as well. Did you know that the most popular or most common ring size for women is size 7? Turned out, when I got the festival I found that I had only two rings in that size. Disaster! Somehow, I made it through the festival! I will try hard never to let that happen again! I made lots & lots of silver rings in size 7 today and a few in other sizes as well. Next show: Festival International in Lafayette, Louisiana, last weekend in April! Already looking forward to it but I have to get my stock in shape!
Go to this post if you are interested in learning more about circles and their meaning: Symbolism of the Circle
I was at an outdoor show this weekend and something interesting happened.
On the last day of the show, a well-dressed woman came into my booth with her daughter and a friend. After looking at my jewelry, she tried on one of my sterling silver necklaces. With the necklace on, she asked me if the necklace was sterling silver. I assured her that it was and she told me something that had happened the year before at this same festival. She bought a piece of silver jewelry that was supposed to be sterling silver. After a period of time of wearing and enjoying the jewelry, she noticed that the silver seemed to be "wearing off". Thinking that the jewelry was beginning to tarnish, she proceed to try to clean it using the typical methods (polishing cloth and, I assume, silver "dip"). When that was unsuccessful, she took the piece to a local jeweler who informed her that, not only was the piece not sterling, but that she had "ruined" the piece trying to clean it.
I proceeded to assure her that the necklace that she was trying on was sterling silver and that I was aware that sterling "fill" or "plate" became popular a few years back when sterling silver prices became prohibitive. She left my booth without purchasing the necklace.
After she left I continued to think about what I could have said to convince her that the necklace was indeed sterling silver. Having done a little research, I have learned that there really is no reliable test for sterling silver as opposed to silver plated or silver filled. My piece was not stamped ".925" but that would not prove anything since I made the piece and could stamp it with whatever I wanted.
I am still left wondering what I could have said (or not said) that would have helped this potential customer trust me - that's what it comes down to, after all. And what about the jeweler who pronounced the piece "not sterling"? What was his interest in this? Clearly, he may have been interested in securing his position as the only "trusted" professional, thereby insuring that she would buy from him rather than "street vendors" such as myself or my fellow artists.
What a shame. Trust is everything in this business.
Perhaps no other geometric shape feels more ancient and all encompassing than the circle. A simple, perfect, closed curve, we see it in nature in the sun and moon, and in one of the greatest inventions of man, the wheel. The circle has held profound meaning for humanity since the beginning of time, and represents wholeness, eternity, completion and inclusion. It’s no wonder that the ultimate symbol of human union, the wedding ring, is a circle enclosing the fourth finger, which was associated in ancient times with the heart.
The circle is at the heart of both the Signature and Luxury jewelry collections. Chain mail itself is the intertwining of small circles to make an incredibly strong, resilient, and beautiful fabric-like weave. From sterling silver wrap rings to handmade silver earrings, to bangles and chain bracelets, there’s almost no limit to the circles you can add to your jewelry collection. With no beginning and no end, the circle radiates a sense of infinite symmetry and stability. Wearing one, or a thousand woven together, will bring you a feeling of strength and peace.
Hello & Welcome!
I am Laura Teague, a metal smith, knitter and sewist living and working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and traveling the western US whenever I can!