Jewelry As Wearable Art

If you like to work with luxurious materials, fine gems, and metals, then you consider one of a kind art pieces with your jewelry making. Even though there is an art to all jewelry making, becoming a designer that can market and sell hand-crafted jewelry in art galleries takes your craft to a higher level. Here are some ideas for getting recognized as an artist and getting your jewelry into art galleries.

1. Start with photography. If you own a great digital camera and some lighting, then stage them so they look like digital art when you take photos of your pieces If you don t have a good camera or if photography is not your forte, don t hesitate to hire a still photographer to take pictures for you. You might even find a photography student willing to do it for the experience or for a small fee. Your photos should be stunning like art that could be framed and hung on its own. Prints of the photos should go into a nice, professional looking portfolio case and on your website.

2. If you don t have a website, start one. You don t have to go to the effort of setting up an e-commerce site unless you want to establish your position as an artist and have an online presence that showcases your work.

3. Create an artist statement. An artist statement is not a bio (although you may want to create a bio as well). The artist statement is a little bit of your background as an artist, but really focuses on your creative inspiration and vision. Look at other artist’s websites in any medium and review their artist statements to get a better idea of how to present yourself as an artist.

4. Establish your pricing. Visit shops and galleries and do a little price comparison. Make sure that you tag your items, but be prepared to negotiate or work with the gallery owner.

5. Bring both your new photo portfolio and a few sample pieces on your appointments. Invest in a nice carrying case and display boards for your pieces.
6. Start small and don t spread yourself too thin. Try small galleries first; they will be more willing to talk to undiscovered talent and showcase your pieces if you are selected.

7. Make an appointment — don’t just drop by. If you stop in unannounced, you may be dismissed and lose your one opportunity with the owner or manager. Be prepared to negotiate terms and consignment options. Very few galleries will buy pieces up front from an unknown artist, even if your work is truly spectacular.

8. If you are welcomed and placed on consignment, make sure that you complete a consignment agreement and an inventory agreement.

9. Be prompt in placing and replacing your jewelry pieces. Also take care not to show in other galleries in the immediate area. Most galleries like to market their pieces exclusively.
10. Be a good business partner with the gallery. Stop by frequently and get to know the owners and the clientele. Be willing to come to opening shows for other artists and to participate in open houses. It builds good will and also gives you the opportunity to market your pieces personally!

Exhibiting and selling your jewelry creations in a gallery is a great experience. Take the time to understand the business of art and it may prove to be financially rewarding as well.