September 9, 2007

Competition coming out now...

I never shared my professional photographs with you, so here they are, by request. As you may recall, I was pretty crazed around the time I got them was quite a fiasco! So they were delivered and I shipped them off to Lark where I was submitting them and never worked on the files to post to the blog until now. I think I will use them in some future ads at some point. I am pleased with them. Thanks again to Larry Sanders!

I am showing them today and wanted to talk about something I have been avoiding talking about a little bit. It has to do with competition, which I am not very comfortable with. I don't like to compete against fellow artists. That's one of the reasons I stopped doing juried art fairs in favor of bead shows, where you just have to pay your money and show up. My skin is a little thin for the rejection of the jury. But recently, I felt teh professional need to enter into competition in order to try to get into the ceramic bead Lark book that I wrote a little bit of. It was just an opportunity that I couldn't pass up. Thus the reason for the professional slides.

So now that I have these slides, I told myself that I would enter a few bead competitions. I never had great slides, so I had always felt it was pointless. I think I make a pretty good bead, but not so much a good slide. Anyway, here I am with slides, and I look to one of the biggest competitions for bead artists, Bead & Button's annual Bead Dreams competition. The winners for 2007 came out and I was happy to see that ceramic bead colleague Joan Miller won in the handmade beads category! It is great to see fired clay getting some recognition! Also Lisa Peters placed in the competition with her Raku buttons. It was very encouraging for us in the ceramic bead world, in which I have always felt we were a bit of the underdog in terms of recognition.

So anyway, I will get to the point... Excited now to be able to enter next year, I went and looked at the rules for 2008, and was disappointed to find that the rules for the categories have changed from the all inclusive "hand made beads" to just "hand made glass beads and buttons" and "polymer clay". So basically I am unable to enter my beads! And so are all of my ceramic bead friends, not to mention all the artists who work in other materials that are not glass or polymer. That's a lot of great materials to leave out! Pewter, silver, copper, PMC, wood, stone, mixed media, wool, paper, stone, and others that I am probably not even thinking of!

I am terribly disappointed in this change in the rules. I am hoping it is an oversight or there is some reason that I am missing. Perhaps limiting to just glass is easier for them, and makes a prettier, more cohesive display. That may be so, but what it does to me is makes me feel very left out with my chosen art form under-recognized again. Honestly, this is not the first time I have felt this way from the Kalmbach publications, and right now it is making me rethink the money I spend with them for ad space. I am quite disappointed.

If this change of rules effects you, either as a bead maker, or as simply a lover of beads, please consider making your opinion known. There is a thread started on the B&B forum located here, if you are interested in reading more opinions, or sharing yours...
IMPORTANT UPDATE! The Bead & Button staff has decided to change the rules, and allow more materials. See my new post here.

The video above, is Fire Fire by M.I.A. (set to clips of Mr. Eco in scenes from Lost, for some reason) I love the line, "competition coming out now...load up, aim, fire, fire, pop!" This is not my usual type of music, but I have this album in my I-pod and love M.I.A. Her music is like an electric shock to me, a jolt of Red Bull or something. I listen to her when I need to push just a little harder to get something done before crashing. Like the tedious task of loadign a kiln when I am tired.

I love the good natured boasting in Hip Hop, when artists make wild declarations about how they are better than their competition. It makes me laugh. I watched MTV's Music awards last night, which was, as usual, full of that sort of hilarious over the top ego and hubris. Thsi song has a little bit of that, but also nods to her peers and idols, which is pretty cool...


  1. Wow! Those are fan-tas-tic! And your tiles are awesome! I can hardly wait to see them fully glazed! Whooo Hooo!

  2. Thank you, it is fun to see my beads in another light!

    I have some glaze tests cooling in the kiln right now! I have high hopes.


  3. Those slides came out so beautifully! I read about the change in the Bead Dreams 2008 rules on the Fired Clay Artists blog. Surely it must have been some kind of weird oversight? I just don't understand it...

  4. Thanks Melissa.

    I would hope it was an oversight, but even so, it is very disappointing. I am sure you will hear me rant about it at the bead show this weekend when I see you.