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Craft shows

Craft Shows? As I am developing my website business I find that I want
to have more direct contact with consumers interested in fine
handmade contemporary jewelry. Does anybody out there have craft shows
that they can recomend? I am reluctant to do outdoor shows due to the
value of my 18-kt gold and colored diamond pieces. I live in the
Northeast but would travel anywhere in the country for a realy good
show. Are there some show juries that are more open to fine jewelry?

Etienne Perret

The name of the book is “The ArtFair SourceBook”. Their number is
800 358 2045. Their address as of 2003 N.E. 11th Ave., Portland,
Oregon 97212-4027. This book is wonderful for those artisans who wish
to participate in a crafts show. Diane coming soon:
still closing:

Hi. There are organized craft shows from the ACC- April is in St.
Paul. 800-836-3470. There is also a buying guild -The ILO which has
semi annual shows forit’s members 203/8464215. A few more I am
unfamiliar with aRe: Buyers Market for American Craft in PA
410/889-2933 You might try contacting SNAG or Metalsmith mag for a
more detailed list of craft show avenues. Good luck Wendy Ross

Hi Etienne,

The American Crafts Council (ACC) does a series of shows in major
American cities. These are high-end crafts and usually attract an
upscale audience. These are juried shows, so you would have to apply
and be invited to participate, but your work sounds like the
appropriate level for their circuit.

I don’t have any contact readily available, but a quick
Internet search should yield you something.

All the best,


Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Hi Etienne, I have just thought of another very busy show that has
fine handmade contemporary jewelery. This is a whole sale show but
looked extremely busy. The GLDA show in Tucson has a designer jewelry
section with beautiful designer oriented jewelry. I also noticed
contemporary craft jewelers at the GJX and the AGTA. There are
contemporary craft jewelers all over Tucson during the show but I
noticed very high end ones at those shows in particular. I realize you
mentioned you wanted the consumer but I thought I would bring this
to your attention. Good Luck, Diane coming soon: still closing:

Hi Etienne, There is a book called the Art Source Craft Fair Book.
This book gives on many of the craft fairs across the
country which include phone numbers, on the percentage of
different types of media, cost of a booth, location, indoor or outdoor
and more. Wholesale and reatil fairs are listed in this book. I have
the number at my office and will post the number for orchid tomorrow.
Some of the finer craftsfair I myself have been to is the ACC fair in
Baltimore. This is a juried wholesale and retail show for crafts of
all media. Another show which is a very busy retail show is the
outdoor Lincoln Center Show in New York City (I have been there many
times and have on occasion seen it a little slow ) There is also a
Park Avenue indoor show in NYC but I do not know how busy it gets but
if I remember correctly it is a very high end show with crafts and
there was gold jewelry. The Lexington Armory is also a high end
indoor show in NYC. There is also the Sugarloaf Craft Fair shows
located in Maryland, Va, and Pennsylvania. I have only been to the
Maryland shows and I don’t know if they are all busy. This show is
held indoors and outdoors. This show has some medium to some high end
dealers. I just know of some of the shows on the east coast and some
in the midwest, but am not familiar with shows on the west coast. I
have never had a booth at these shows so you might want to ask
jewelers who have had booths how they feel the show fares for them as
vendors, although I have heard them say sometimes they had a great
show and other times not so great. I hope this is helpful.
Diane coming soon: still closing:

Hi Etienne,

As far as which craft show juries might be open to fine jewelry, I
can’t say. In fact the only thing consistent about craft show juries
is their inconsistency, so all you can do is give it a try. Or, as
someone once said, make your annual charitable donations in the form
of jury fees.

However, I can make some suggestions about which indoor, retail, fine
craft shows to consider and most of them are in the East. The three
at the top of most people’s list would have to be the Philadelphia
Museum of Art Craft Show, the Smithsonian Craft Show and the ACC
Baltimore Winter Craft Show (which is both wholesale and retail).
Jurying for ACC and the Smithsonian is already completed for 2001 but
jurying for the PMA show, which is in November, has not occurred yet.

If you’re curious about how much a jeweler can gross at some of these
shows, ACC sends summaries to its members which are based on feedback
forms collected at each show (not everyone responds). As an example,
here are the figures for Baltimore Winter 2000 retail for metal
jewelry based on 53 responses: Total sales $715,944; average sales
$13,508; range $350-$50,000; median $12,000. (For the sake of
comparison, here are the wholesale figures for the same show with 102
metal jewelers reporting: Total sales $2,418,421; average sales
$23,710; range $2,245-$267,000; median $13,750. Don’t forget that the
profit margin is twice as high at retail, based on keystone pricing.)
You can expect your expenses to range from, say, $2000 to $4000 for
one of these shows unless you’re local and have no travel or lodging
fees. By the way, to exhibit at an ACC show you must join the
American Craft Council.

Beyond the “big three,” there are several others with very good
reputations, not all of which I’ve tried. There are the other ACC
shows (some are more solid than others, like Atlanta and St. Paul, but
all have potential); Crafts At The Castle in Boston; the Westchester
Craft Show in New York; the ACE Craft Show in Evanston (a contender
for the top three); the Washington Craft Show in D.C.; the Artrider
shows in New York and New Jersey (Artrider’s Crafts Park Avenue shows
have been very good � at times); and, on the West Coast, the
Contemporary Crafts Markets promoted by Roy Helms & Assoc. I’m sure
you’ll hear from other Orchidians about still more.

For show listings, addresses, ratings and much other info, I suggest
you subscribe to the ArtFair SourceBook (800-358-2045). Another good
source for show feedback is the NAIA (National Assoc. of Independent
Artists at If you
decide to apply to any of these shows, first call the promoter and ask
for both application forms and a copy of the previous show’s program
or exhibitor list. Then get on the phone and start calling other
jewelers for feedback. It’s what I did and most folks are very
helpful although some would rather not encourage more competition!
Just keep in mind that no matter what you hear, your experience at a
particular show may be very different from that of others, at least
that’s what I’ve found. Good luck.

Beth Rosengard

just happened to have this handy…:

american craft council (ACC)
21 south eltings corner road
highland, ny 12528-2805

oakland, california