I couldn’t agree with you more. Much of the success for pricing
painting, glass, fibers, clothes and ceramics is due to advertising
and marketing. Why is it with jewelry, that price equates with
hefting the piece in your hand and making mental calculations of
the material? I see this at shows often and it really ANNOYS me. I
don’t see someone walk over to a beautiful chenille and silk scarf,
which is priced at $225 and mentally calculate the amount of fiber
used to construct it. Nor do I see somebody look at a glass vessel
with a $3000 price tag and think that this is sand.
Studio glass, of all the craft media has come into it’s own in the
last 15 years. Personally, I at contribute this to Dale Chihuly.
You may not like the guy, but he has done more to market glass and
make it a viable INVESTMENT. He creates books, he has videos, he
works the floor at a gallery opening like nobody I have ever seen.
This guy markets, and because of his consistent marketing, has put
glass on the map.
Studio jewelry is probably the least understood of all the work out
there. Beautifully hand crafted one of kind pieces that are made
with exquisite craftsmanship end up sitting on shelves gathering
dust. Nobody should stand for it. The only time I see the gallery
owners beam at the jewelry in the cases, is during SNAG conferences.
What should we do and what can we do. It is our responsibility to
begin educating every customer out there, making our work an
heirloom, something worthy to be passed on. We need to be more
proactive with gallery owners.
Look at some of the premier marketers in our field. DeBeers. Wow.
It’s a rock for Christ’s sake, and not at all rare considering how
many of them are out there. Rubies, emeralds, or alexanderite, now
that is rare. DeBeer’s marketing is amazing and their ads are all
over the place, pulling at our heart strings.
Now look at David Yurman. The man is a marketing genius. He’s
plastered all over every major magazine. While I don’t particularly
like the work myself, I applaud his marketing saavy. How about
Daniel Brush? His collectors are called “custodians” and they have
the honor of dropping $250K on one of his pieces. Mind you Daniel
Brush is off the charts crazy/bright, but you get my point.
As a metalsmith, it is my duty to make work that is the highest
level of craftsmanship I can make. I rather have a small selection
of exquisite pieces that I feel proud of, than an overwhelming hoard
of work that is made poorly. As a metalsmith, it is my
responsibility to do everything I can to market my work to its
These people represented in this list are ones that I consider to
have the highest craftsmanship and market their work very well.
My short list of amazing metalsmiths that I admiRe:
Deb Karash: http://www.debkarash-jewelry.com/
Cynthia Downs: http://www.cynthiadowns.com/
Ford and Forlano: http://www.fordforlano.com/
Cynthia Eid: http://www.cynthiaeid.com/
Boris Bally: http://www.borisbally.com/
And a couple of outstanding galleries that market the work:
DeNovo Gallery: http://www.denovo.com/
M E T A L W E R X
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio