Hi, folks, Having just been off-line (broken computer) for a week and
off-list (too busy getting ready for Open Studios) for longer, I have
been frantically trying to catch up on reading all your wonderful
posts. I still haven’t, but the number of responses on this thread
Before Noel sent the original post, she had emailed me off-list
because I signed myself “Lisa from Benicia, where everyone is an
artist” (this was a joke about the earlier "who is an artist"
thread). I now realize that enough other people are probably lurking,
trying to discover the answer to the same question, that maybe I
should post a (slightly modified) version of the response I sent her.
Before I do, I will contrast my experience at Open Studios with hers
at ACC Chicago: I paid $70 to Arts Benicia (publicity, signs, keyed
maps, etc.) and got to be a “guest artist” in the local “live/work
area” for free–all amenities provided, including a faux-finished
room with a kidney-shaped, glass-topped display table and a desk
chair. Lots of lovely, appreciative people–not a moment to do any
work. My largest sale was $255 (with earrings to follow), but my
total take was only around $600 (although I generated a lot of
interest in custom work and had a lot of fun). If I had been a
"real" jeweler, I might have lost my shirt, but I do wirework and
probably covered the ridiculous amount I spent on supplies, most of
which I never used. My high-end necklace included ruby beads, plus
someone else’s gorgeous lampwork, and was purchased by a musician
(all my high-end necklaces–$175-255–have been purchased by local
artists of one kind or another). On the other hand, the one "real"
jeweler (BFA in metalsmithing, but also a PMC person) said she did
So…I’ll send the “Where is artist heaven?” post separately.
Lisa in Benicia
where the sun keeps peeking through the famous Bay area fog