Excellent Photos, But Now I See the Flaws!

Hi Folks -

I need some eleventh hour advice.

I recently joined SNAG and received my first issue of Metalsmith in
which I saw the ad for the Lark Books upcoming publication “500
Bracelets.” I recently completed a bracelet I’d worked on for over
a year and thought, “Hmmm. If there’s 500 of them, maybe I stand a
chance of getting in.”

So I inquired here about a photographer in the Bay Area and received
several enthusiastic suggestions - my thanks to those of you who
replied - and chose Hap Sakwa, who is a complete professional and a
pleasure to work with.

Because of the logistics involved in getting him the bracelet and
getting the shots back and because I saw the ad late anyway, I just
got the slides, and I need to have my entry postmarked by tomorrow,

The issue is that the photos are gorgeous but I am now painfully
aware of what I think are some serious flaws.

There are two views of the bracelet.

In one, Hap captured perfectly what I had in mind for the piece but
three things jumped out at me immediately: there is an area on the
inside of the bracelet that is differently-reflective than the
surrounding area, indicating something about the polishing that’s
less than perfect; there appears to be a small (but noticeable)
ripple-like disturbance in the textured copper onlay; and there
appears to be a tiny bit of silver inside a small part of the
texture that looks suspiciously like the errant silver solder (from
the nearby bezels) that I spent hours removing. I thought.

The second view I like less because I know the piece is upside-down.
It does show the ripple but it does not show the
differently-reflective bit nor the bit of silver inside the copper
texture. But it highlights an additional (and I think more serious)
flaw: an ill-fitting bezel.

(I know there is no excuse for that, but here it is anyway: The
piece started because I made some etched fused glass pieces that I
wanted to set like stones into a bracelet. I had four pieces of
glass and chose three to work with. The work was fraught with
misadventure all along the way, and at the end, setting the glass
was no exception. With the help of a well-meaning instructor, the
third and last piece broke into fragments. Having invested over a
year of my life in this bracelet, I wasn’t going to give up then,
and I used the fourth piece of glass which the soldered-down bezel
had not been shaped for. Close, but no cigar.)

May I call upon the impressive collection of experience here to ask:
should I forget about sending the entry? Should I enter anyway and
consider it good experience? Does a piece with such obvious
problems even stand a chance of being considered?

I thank you in advance.


You should go ahead and send in the best one, whichever you decide.
I’ve noticed the same thing with others that happens with me, that
when I look at my own work I see all the flaws. You’re too close to
it, that’s all.

Good luck!

Linda, Only one thing is certain: You won’t be accepted if you don’t
apply. Go for it!



i say go for it. you’ve come this far. if you don’t enter, you
certainly can’t win and you’ll be left wondering “what if”.

someone said something on this site not to long ago to the effect
of, “you are only limited by yourself”.

good luck!
jocelyn broyles

Jocelyn Broyles
Costa Rica ph(011 506) 376.6417
U.S. fax (253) 669.1679

I’ve looked at some award-winning pieces very closely, with a
critical eye, and I have noticed that some of these acclaimed items
have their flaws too. If the work has enough else to recommend it,
wise judges can see the value beyond the problems, and if they
include your bracelet, you’ll be in exalted company. Go for it.



Are you looking at your work projected on a wall with a slide
projector? If so, minor flaws in craftsmanship will make you want to
run! We all have this issue with our own work, and nobody sees it
like we do.

Go ahead and submit the bracelet. Add a note, “If accepted,
replacement slides will be sent if these are not suitable”.

Good luck!


Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio