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Humorous comments overheard at shows

Hi all,

thought you might enjoy some of these comments overheard at
art/craft shows:

I am sure metals people have similar stories. I remember overhearing
someone explaining to his partner earnestly that the niobium jewelry
was colored that way because “they had taken the metal up into space
and the heat of reentry had colored it like that”, as it was a ‘space
metal’. and so on. Anyone else?


Charles Lewton-Brain/Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brai1

A friend of mine who does blacksmithing demos at a state park has
some good ones as well–

From a mother watching him at the forge–“is that fire real?”

From someone looking at a display of his work–“is that old or did
someone make it?”

Makes you wonder about the future of mankind.

Linda Holmes-Rubin
ForCapital Associates of Atlanta
Phone: 770-479-7837
Fax: 770-720-7555
Fax: 770-720-7555

My very favorite show story: A customer admiring a pendant I had
made said “That’s a beautiful opal.” “It’s not an opal,” I said.
“It’s dichroic glass.” She thought about this for a moment and then
asked “What’s it made of?” “Glass,” I replied.

Batya Stark

Charles and all!

How about some “retail jewellery” stories? heard that one
salesperson…(no gender defined) said to an inquiring client on the
colouring of gold…white gold comes from just one mine and yellow
gold comes from another…duh!..:>) Gerry!

I was next to a friend of mine who does shadow boxes at a show in
Galena a few years ago. Her booth had been set up in a hurry after it
had been packed a way for a while. A young child tugged on his
fathers hand and said “look daddy a spider”, without turning around
to look the daddy said “yes honey it’s art, you can see whatever you
want in it”. Surely this confused the boy since a live spider had
crawled into the artists shadowbox and was busily spinning a web
between the art and the glass for all to see.

Same show on the second day after a really strong storm had swept
through roughing up tents and flooding booths. A puzzled looking
woman looks at the mangled remains of an EZ-UP and says “I just don’t
know what people do with modern art like that”.


I got as far as almost halfway through these quips before I had to
quit and go get a kleenex to mop up my tears & cause my stomach hurt
from laughing so hard. These are classics!

I have one to add in the same spirit of this thread. Every Tuesday
night is Auction Night at William Holland Lapidary Arts School. Many
of you are already familiar with this weekly ritual. Last year
during the auction, the old-timer auctioneer picked up a necklace to
offer as the next item up for bid. He held it up in the air (woulda
blown Noel’s Ugly Necklace right out of the water!) and said, "Next,
here we have, er,…momentary pause…then with great
enthusiasm, “Well, it has a REALLY nice clasp!!” I couldn’t look at
my friend across the table for the rest of the auction because it
just started hysterics all over again.

Thanks to Charles for the wonderful levity! Carol C-W

I always greet people looking at our jewellery displays with: “Do try
the things on if you’d like.”

On more than a couple of occasions they’ve replied: “What things?”

Steve Holden

Here’s one from my own experience: A customer picked up a bracelet
at a recent show, adopted an expression like she’d stepped in dog
mess and expressed horror that its price was twenty-eight whole
dollars. “Is that REAL?” she asked. “As opposed to what?” I replied.

Courtney Graham Hipp
cgHipp Jewelry Designs

Once my old school did a contest (in corporation with the local

A very gifted friend of mine entered with a marvelous piece. The
judges went over it and one said “wow that’s an original fruit
basket”. Another judge (my friend’s teacher) said “well it’s actually
a necklace”. The rest of the judges lost interest and he didn’t win.
(for completeness: another great piece did win).

Another nice one was when my ex-girlfriend failed her exam. She had
an oral re and was shown some pieces of sheetmetal, she was asked to
identify them (14 krt gold, 18 krt gold, silver, copper, alpaca
etc.). She failed again. After holidays I stepped into the teachers
office to ask about something and another student was handing in some
white metal scrap. The teacher looked at it and said “well that could
be anything and threw it in her silver scrap drawer”.


One of the “lines” I used to use at shows when someone evinced
interest in my jewelry was “Are there any questions I can answer for
you?” One day a gentleman replied, “Yes. What is the meaning of
life?” Last time I used that one! :slight_smile:


At the Contemporary Crafts market in Santa Monica some years ago, a
customer approached my booth and asked to see a long strand of
gorgeous pink pearls. As I slowly removed them from the case, I
commented: “These are lovely “salmon” pearls…but before I could
explain how they were colored, her eyes opened wide, her mouth
dropped and she blurted out: “Wow! I didn’t know that salmon could
make pearls!!” Seeing the stunned look on my mug, her face fell,
she hesitated a beat and then said dissapointedly, " Oh…they don’t
do they?” My basket weaver neighbor in the next booth, having heard
the whole conversation, walked into my booth, put her arm gently
around my shoulder leaned over to the woman…paused…and said in
a low l voice:" not unless they are really constipated"


Lisa ( Recently started working exclusively in 22k. Note to self:
repeat frequently, preferably aloud: “do not melt”) Topanga, CA USA

This didn’t happen at a show but I just have to share this.

I was at a party celebrating a friend’s recent wedding and overhead
the groom talking to a friend about his wedding band. It is a simple
band with 3 small diamonds flush set forming a diagonal line. He was
mentioning that the 3 looked ok but 4 stones would look better. His
buddy said to him “No problem, a jeweller would just heat up the ring
till it was soft and push in another stone.” I must have missed
that memo that changed the laws of nature. Or I have been wasting a
lot of time setting stones the hard way.

Loved the list, it was so dead on!

Brigid Ryder

And if you give us any more trouble, I shall visit you in the small
hours and put a bat up your nightdress. – Basil Fawlty

well, these are not from shows, but some quotes, that became
"standard answers to tourist questions on telegraph Ave…" telegraph
avenue`s scene being almost like a craft show…

Q: is this real?
A: no, what you see is a hologram beamed down by starship
Enterprise, which is currently in orbit overhead.
Alternative answer: No, all you see is a figment of your own
imagination, including yourself

Q: did you make all these?
A; no ma’m. I hire santa`s elves in the off season.

Q: how do you make all this?
A: manual dexterity and malice of forethought

Q: How do I get to the University campus (usually yelled out of a
car window, while the car is standing at the light at Durant and
Telegraph Ave)
A: Well, sir, if you go up one more light, then hang a left. at the
next intersection you go left again, follow the road for three
blocks, go left again, follow the road for two blocks, yet another
left turn, go up the road forthree blocks. that`ll get you right to
the campus…


I love the question I have routinely received when showing a
customer loose diamonds to compare and then purchase;

“So, how old is this diamond?”

I really have to fight the urge to laugh!

Kristine Jones
Cottonwood Jewelers
P.O. Box 668
Cottonwood, CA 96022
TEL (530) 347-9681
FAX (530) 347-9683

Far too long ago when I was a puppy, I began as a blackmith,
splitting that work with horseshoeing on the side. There came a time
when I was requested to give a couple of demonstrations on forging
and hot-shoeing at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. Well I got
the first animal done without any trouble, but when I got to the
second it was a bit more difficult. This critter was going to need a
little corrective work, which calls for a lot of fitting and running
back and forth between the forge and the horse. People got bored and
wandered off, and new ones came to see what all the banging and
smoke was about. (Those were coal fired forge days:) Having just
fitted the left front shoe, I crawled back under the horse to fit up
the right side. I could see the crowd from under the horse. Just
about then a new spectator walked up with his young son. He brought
his son right up close where he could watch me work. Then he reached
over to pick up the shoe I’d left on the anvil I almost yelled from
my position under the horse, but those of you who have been around
skittish young horses know that that is not a wise thing to do.

By that time he had picked up the hot horseshoe. Of course he dropped
it immediately. From underneath the horse I quietly asked him if
maybe it was a bit warm to be inspecting He replied in an anguished
whisper " not at all, it just doesn’t take me very long to look at
one ", grabbed his son by the hand and hurriedly walked off I
presume to find some ice.

There could be a parallel thread about “When customers know more
than the jeweler…”

I was showing a forged sterling silver bangle to a prospective
customer at a show and described it as “solid sterling silver.” An
older woman pushed her way to the front and blurted out, as if to
confront me, “Sterling silver is not solid!!!” After a moment of
stunned silence I I think I picked up on her confusion… I rapped
the bangle on the edge of the counter and stated, “This certainly
is solid sterling silver… it’s not hollow, and it is sterling
silver all the way through. Now, sterling silver is not pure
silver… it is 92.5% pure silver, with the remaining 7.5% being
copper (in this case). Pure silver is too soft to be used in most
jewelry applications.” That silenced her, but she backed away with a
look of skepticism and mistrust on her face.

All the best,

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Funny or not? a young couple appeared at my booth in southwest
Florida and ask for a stud earring. I had pairs only, so they bought
a pair. She proceeded to push one stud thru the mans ear lobe where
there was no hole before. The blood trickled down his neck and had
to be mopped up. It was then that I found out that they had just met
in the beer tent.

A woman was looking at my work, particularly an asymmetrical pair of
earrings. She leaned over to me and whispered “Do you know that
they’re not the same?”

not overheard - but directly addressed, unfortunately - at a show in

on a day when u. of tennessee was playing ole miss a very large
yellow and black [u of t colors] horizontally striped bumblebee
approached my booth. she leaned an elbow on my counter and checked
out every piece of my personally collected driftwood display pieces,
apparently not noticing there was jewelry attached thereto and
thereon. then she curled a finger with a long scarlet nail at the
end in a beckoning gesture for me to come closer - as i got closer i
figured she was going to pass on some great secret that her recent
considerable intake of distilled spirits had revealed to her.
“honey, yah know what’d make this stuff really purdy? ah mean reaall
purdy?” i raised my eyebrows to indicate my willingness to listen
and learn. “yah fyand uh dryall an’ yah dryall howels all along
these [the branches & roots] not lil’ biddy oanes an’ not toe
catchin’ biug ones but naice sized howels. then yah fyand yahself
sum gooud galuew. then galuew sum raihnstones in those howels.
wooee. that’d be really purdy!”

[before anyone jumps on a galloping high horse thinking i am a
yankee making fun of southerners - i was born in the south and have
lived here most of my life fostering a belief that only southerners
can poke fun at ourselves. unless you have tasted white lightning,
seen an alligator skinned, know that only ‘foreigners’ call redbugs
’chiggers’, and realize that texas is NOT a southern state - you are
not a southerner.]


who knows that “you-all” is texan and “ya’ll” is southern and the two
should not be used interchangeably.

Overheard at a craft show:

Customer (to dealer): Excuse me, but do you know you’re wearing two
different earrings?

Dealer: Do you like them? I have another pair just like them in
the case.

Welcome back, Dave Sebaste and Cathy Wheless!