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Define jewelry

I have no problem at all with the avant-garde, I just feel there
should be a separate category to be fair to all. 

Terrie, I understand the frustration of being excluded from an
opportunity that seemed suitable, because of preference for
avant-garde work, but this position might benefit from a bit more

For generations, “craft” creators have fought to make the argument
that their creations span the entire spectrum from the humble item
of everyday use to the sublime work of art, and that they should not
be excluded from consideration as artists because the continuum
includes the practical. The argument about where the line is drawn
between “craft” and “art” continues, though collections such as
Metalsmith’s “Exhibition in Print” show that great progress has been
made. Without doubt, there are “jewelry” works that are clearly
intended to be worn, and others that could not possible be, but
somewhere between lies a vast gray area. A comparison might be drawn
with fashion once again-- for most of us, 4-inch stiletto heels are
not wearable. They are statements about fashion and its
implications. (And some people buy such objects as statements or–
dare one say it?-- as Art!) And yet, there are people who do wear
them. These same people might also wear jewelry pieces that are
impractical and all but unwearable, on the same occasions.

It doesn’t seem to me that we should be pushing to put back the
barriers between the ends of the spectrum, especially since it is
impossible to define the point at which the line is crossed. I don’t
think many of us would be content to let some arbitrary authority
make that decision! Now, we may each come to a conclusion that suits
us, but we are not imposing that on our colleagues. May it ever be

Anyone putting together a show gets to draw whatever lines they
choose, however arbitrary. That’s only right, it’s their show. I
would add that some organizers are less than ideally forthcoming,
presumably because they want to collect the maximum in jury fees and
to be able to boast a high rate of supplicants, uh, applicants. If
what is for sale is an opportunity, then caveat emptor! We vote with
our feet, or, in this case, our postage.

The system is less than perfect, but there is, in fact, room for
all, just not at every show. How often have any of us ever checked
out a show we didn’t get into, and said to ourselves, “Oh, yeah, OK,
I see why I didn’t get in. Everybody here is better than me!” Years
ago, at a professional seminar for artists, we were given a piece of
advice that has stayed with me when all the rest of the day’s input
is forgotten. The guy suggested that, as you (literally or
metaphorically) leave a show you were rejected from, you look around
and say to yourself, “I’ve been thrown out of better places than



this has not been about me at all. I have not put anything out

I love flights of fancy, trying to do the impossible, pushing the

I understand the stiletto analogy, once wore them myself. I also do
not want definition written in stone. I don’t want to get
Secretariat up and running again, my only point is the submitee know
up front if her/his design is appropriate for the expectations of
this particular show/publication.

The age old Art vs Craft is not the issue here, just knowing the
criteria up front. We may need to have categories such as; Wearable
Daily, Special Event, For Viewing Only, Beyond Belief, etc.


The age old Art vs Craft is not the issue here, just knowing the
criteria up front. We may need to have categories such as;
Wearable Daily, Special Event, For Viewing Only, Beyond Belief,

Why not just research who the publication is using to jury? If you
look at the 1000 rings book you’d know from the literature that Bob
Ebendorf, the editor of the collection is one who has created work
from found obects on the beach, not shells, but discarded plastic
forks and spoons, paper, basically trash.

It shouldn’t be too much of a reach to see that someone like this may
select a lot of unconventional work. Metalsmith isn’t too hard to
figure out either if you keep your hand on the pulse of that
publication. They usually tell you who the jurors are going to be.
The same advice goes for entering most design contests or craft
shows. Your more likely to get in if the person jurying your media
is educated and knowledgable about the kind of work you submit. You
have to do some research and homework.