Thursday, July 19, 2007

A mission statement for artists

Yesterday on WBGH there was a show about crafters and artists. A man who makes large sculptures from wood was talking and he said that he felt all artists needed to find out why they created. He said that he made these sculptures so that they would bring a little happiness into someone's life.

I make jewelry so that other people can enjoy it. Wearing my own jewelry is almost an afterthought for me. I would much rather create jewelry than wear it. Over the years I have had a lot of discussions with my friends about our craft. My jewelry prices are a little lower than most of my friends who are jewelry designers. I always try to make back the money that I spent on the materials that I put into something, but occasionally it is time to let something go to a new home and not worry about the money. The "profit" I get from making jewelry is the wonderful hours that I spend lost in the creation of it. It may not be a way to get rich, but it is a way to continue exploring, learning and enjoying my craft.

Recently I have been asked several times to repair something. A local bead store is giving my card to people who come to them for help. This got me thinking about why I am interested in doing this, when so many jewelry people just want to make new things...not repair old ones. I like to repair things because I like to help people. Owning something that you love but is broken is no fun...and bringing things back to a usable life IS fun!

I don't want people to cringe and walk away when they see the price tag. I want to be paid for my talent in combining beautiful materials into something people love to wear, but I love to price things so that people are able to happily walk away with something I've created. Once I design and create something, I want to take a picture and then see it go to a person who will love wearing it. If lower prices help jewelry go to a new home, then low prices it is. Clarifying my ideas has led me to create a mission statement for my jewelry design business:

"I design and create affordable jewelry that brings happiness to those who wear it. Since there is no fun to owning something that is broken and unwearable, I use my ability and talent to repair jewelry and to reconnect people with the joy of owning something they love. Jewelry is something that should make you happy when you wear it, and my designs are priced so that the smile stays even when you remember how much you paid for it."

So, that's it for today. I'm on my way to the jewelry studio to make someone happy.

Have a great day.