I started this jewelry thing as a hobby, I never thought that this would carry me everywhere and I ended up paying and getting so much more.
I am not a person who is shy of fame. I like being famous but I have to admit that at some point it became tiring. And eventually, no matter how much I love the attention that was given to my work, I just have to hide away and catch my breath.
Here are some of the things that happened to me this year:
My first fashion show was in early March and Lotus Lady (left photo) – that won second place on a jewelry challenge in one of my DeviantArt group – was shown to the public along with The Eyes Of Grace Vindicta (featured image) and several other works for the first time. The event was Solo Gems Award in Surakarta, Indonesia. I received two times magazine features and one online news coverage. Many didn’t know that my achievement was not only the first fashion show, but the ability to generate a real masterpiece for a jewelry show. Eyes of Grace Vindicta (African opal, topaz and apatite beads on twisted and woven fine silver wires – featured image) was born in 72 hours of painstaking labor on late February.
I enrolled to the ASEAN Jewelry Design Competition in early April and submitted one of my work that I love so much. I did not win and didn’t even nudge the juries’ attention to my work. I was a bit disappointed until I found out that the competition was rigged – the winner from Indonesiawas pre-decided and so I quickly laughed it off. The competition piece was sold for $450 to a friend.
I also participated in a Gem Expo on May, in Denpasar, Bali. It was my first booth and my first contact with the consumer world. I didn’t make a lot of sales and in general the Expo was not as crowded as the one in March. But nonetheless it was an experience. I also did another fashion show there which I considered to be more successful than the one in Surakarta, basically because I pretty much handled everything myself and the models were much more like the “goddesses” that I had in mind.
I was tired after the two events. When the third event in Bogor, West Java, came in mid August, there was no pics of the (amateur) models and there was no sales or even payment for doing the show. The whole event was a sour failure that I had to swallow, despite of my efforts. The EO cheated on us all and they just left my show stranded in the middle of a half-empty mall on Saturday, 2 PM. I made another show piece that was adored by many, I offered to make the piece for the EO with their gemstone product but eventually they refused to pay or even acknowledge my work. I still have the piece with me and (will) refuse to return the stone, LOL.
I was invited to another event in late August but I backed down. But instead I got a rather challenging commission from one of the booth tenant to display on that September
event in BSD, Jakarta. It was an idealistic piece worth $1,500 and it was one of my great achievements after The Eyes of Grace Vindicta.
On that moment in August, a friend offered me to join Indonesian Wire Jewelry Community (IWJC), and finally I accepted – after reviewing the Community’s mission and plans for the future. This is one big step that I made in 2015 because before that I have vowed to go solo and have been doing that for a very long time. That step of joining IWJC marked my coming out from my “cave” to face the real world of Indonesian wire artists.
And so in August I revealed one of my basic technique – the wire prong – to the world of wirework in Indonesia. I distributed and taught the technique for free and the learning still continues. I put much thoughts before doing this, but I decided that I would rather taught this for free than let anyone stole them from my photos. The group that we generated for this learning purpose harvested many improvisations and inputs. I will close the group on March 2016.
The last effort that I did was another jewelry challenge in December. For this competition I had to use electrical wires and so this made me reminisce about who I was, and eventually I start to play again with the old cheap wires after being involved with silver for so long. My competition piece was ranked on the 10th position.
Along 2015 came 40+ commissions, 20+ sales, and only 20+ pieces left available, plus tons of debts that I had to pay because of the events, but with the hope that 2016 will bring more inspirations and happiness in this artistic journey.
And so on this date, December 29, I solemnly put away my beautiful pliers, tucking away my wires neatly and prepare to take a three days vacation for New Year.
I hope all of you have a blessed and prosperous New Year.