SNAG Be sure to buy a raffle ticket this year

Well I guess its official I won't be going to SNAG in Houston TX this year. SNAG is such a great educational, inspiration and social event for the metalsmithing enthusiast. There is something for the jewelry artist, jewelry designer and the jewelry craftsperson. I especially enjoy the professional development seminar. A huge force behind that program is Harriet Estell Berman. She has a site The site is chock full of marketing information for the artist. She usually updates the site with the information from the SNAG conference so I will be sure to check it out. I recently read an article in American Craft Magazine titled "Thinking about Nothing". It reminded me of the reuse, recycle type work done by Ms. Bermen. As a jewelry artist it is impossible to not view any relic or found object as a potential jewelry /adornment item. The article talks about the trend of simplifying, de-acquisitioning and how the economic trend is affecting this movement towards less is more. I know as I work I am constantly subtracting, and refining so as to find the core of what it is I am making. The quest to mimic the simple movements and patterns in nature has provided a lifetime of ideas and curiosity to artists for generations, myself included. So simple yet so complex. As with jewelry it all begins with a structure and having a plan. Contrary to the idea of de-acquiring and non consuming a typical room of jewelers benches and studios generally are so packed and cluttered with objects and collections, items horded for future use and possibilities.The same American Craft " Hard Core Romance" proclaims Lola Brooks is a self proclaimed hoarder. Her work and jewelry objects seem to be structured ornamentation of her collections. It seems a lot of jewelers fall into this same method of finding materials for expression. So rather than go to SNAG this year I will go to Penland, or on a vacation out west. Something to inspire me. I will find a rock or twig, I will study jewelry, read articles and look forward to SNAG 2011.