Ok, confession time. My name is Yvonne, and I’m a jewelry hussy. By that I mean that I love jewelry – ALL jewelry, and the shinier, the better. I wear jewelry all day, every day. If you’re wearing jewelry, no matter what kind, be warned, I will ask to touch, feel, and admire it. At times I think I may need professional help, because I think about jewelry ALL the time. It’s been an obsession of mine since I was a kid.
I suppose it’s because of my magpie instincts that I was recently asked to participate as a judge for the New Mexico Jeweler’s Association (NMJA) design competition “All that Glitters”. This can be summed up in one word: WOW!
I was impressed and inspired by each and every entry.
Even though I was there to judge nine different categories (48 pieces total) I had to remind myself that I wasn’t shopping for my latest treasure. It’s a good thing I wasn’t there to buy anything – I would have drained my bank account. I kept saying things to myself like, “I wonder if my husband will like this men’s ring with the 9-carat sapphire” or, “I love this pendant so much I would sleep with it on!”
Once I forced myself out of shopping mode and into judging mode, I had a whole new appreciation for every entry. The beautifully hand-built BRONZclay™ necklace with articulated branches and leaves was so original that it made me so happy, I giggled. Actually, all the entries in the metal clay categories made me giggle with delight – and I learned that each entrant had taken their first metal clay class with me! But it wasn’t just the metal clay creations that thrilled me, the whole range of designs and artistry was mind blowing!
This fearlessness impressed me so much that I’ve been thinking that it’s time for me to stop doubting, close my eyes and jump right into entering a design competition. Their example has given me the kick that I needed. So, instead of asking myself, “What if I don’t qualify?” I’m asking myself other “what-if’s”:
What if I enter and place or even better, win?
What if I’m able to sell one of my pieces because I entered a competition?
What if I don’t take the risk and try this?? What will I be missing out on?
I’m fortunate enough to live in a place that has an amazing jewelry community like NMJA. I know that with the support of this community, I too can be fearless and jump right into the world of design competitions. In the beginning, they will probably be smaller, local competitions, but it’s a start, right?
With this new found nerve, I encourage you to boldly join me and enter a design competition yourself! Maybe it will be a small contest organized by your local bead society, or an entry to your local county or state fair. Perhaps you’ll go big and enter the Saul Bell Design Award competition. Whatever design competition you and I decide to dive into, I’m sure it will be an unforgettable experience that neither of us will regret.