Wire Discussion: Jewelry Judging

By on July 10, 2013
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by Narlene Allen, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Jewelry Inspiration for
July 10, 2013

Judging Jewelry

It’s summer and there are fairs, festivals and boutiques going on country wide. People from all over grow huge pumpkins, raise and groom animals of all shapes and sizes, and make beautiful quilts to enter into their local county and state fairs. As artisans, there are also opportunities for handmade items to be adjudicated.

This week I’d like to hear from you about entering your jewelry into county or state fairs.

  • What did you create?
  • Was it themed?
  • How was the experience?
  • Did you win a prize or get a ribbon?
  • Would you do it again?

Tell us about your experiences and feel free submit some pictures of your winning items! I’d love to see them and hear all about it!

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  1. avatar

    Judy Parnell

    July 10, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I have been doing wire wrapping for about 10 years now, doing shows, fairs and festivals. I would like to comment on my experience. Our county fair was just a couple of weeks ago. I entered a wire wrapped piece of amber with gold beads and matching earrings. I took first place. I also entered a piece I did from a “challenge” in our bead society. I took first place. Then I entered a spiral bracelet and took first again. My point is, it seems to me they give out way too many ribbons! They don’t mean very much anymore as this has been going on for a few years now. All those blue ribbons look nice in my display of work for sale, but I know they really aren’t worth very much. I feel like if people knew they were from our little county fair, they would have a good laugh at my expense! I have been in many juried shows and being accepted into them means much more than the fair ribbons. Besides . . . where do they get their judges and what are their credentials???

    • avatar

      Narlene Allen

      July 10, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Excellent comments. Thank you for the honest answer. It never an easy task to put your creations out for critique. Locally, I know that our judges are from the community and some have experience and knowledge in the area they are judging, and I’m sure there are some that don’t. I hope that you will keep entering your pieces into the shows that will build your credentials. We all need that positive validation of our skill and abilities! Thank you again!

  2. avatar

    Sande Anderson

    July 10, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Our fair is still 3 weeks away, but I wanted to tell you that I just taught a small “Demo” to my Platte Co. Art Guild and it was wonderful. There were men and women there (approx. 29 folks) and they just loved it. All but one had never heard of wire wrapping and they just could not see enough. I showed them things for an hour and they never did want to stop learning about it.

    Afterwards, the lady in charge asked me if I would do a class on it.

    It all began with Preston Reuther several years ago and recently I had gotten the wonderful free disc from Dale “Cougar” Armstrong. Which was simply wonderful!

    Thank you! Sande Anderson

    • avatar

      Narlene Allen

      July 10, 2013 at 9:30 am

      It sounds like a great success! Good luck with everything you are doing!

  3. avatar

    Judy Henry

    July 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I’ve only been wirewrapping for 2 years, but I’m pretty good at it. Two years ago I went to our regional fair and watched the judging. I noted that they examined the construction and finishing VERY carefully, giving quality equal weight with overall appearance. So the next year, I put a piece into the competition myself. It wasn’t the niftiest-looking piece I had, but it was better finished than the other. (No dings in the wire where I held it to tight with my pliers, all cut ends angle-cut and tucked under, etc.) In the end, I won a third-place ribbon, which isn’t bad for a relative beginner!

    • avatar

      Narlene Allen

      July 11, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Thank you for sharing this with us. As a beginner, it sounds like this judging was a very positive learning experience for you. I believe that as artisans sometimes we have to take the risk and put ourselves and our creations out there to be judged. It’s a very scary decision, and sometimes it’s not so positive. In the end,however, it’s always a good learning experience! You had a wonderfully positive outcome! Keep it up – it sounds like your on a road to more positive experiences!

  4. avatar

    Gwen Berger

    July 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I entered 3 items in a local artist association show and sale. (Each member of the association was permitted to enter only 3 pieces.) It was the first time I had entered any competition of this type, and was intimidated by the level of artists in the group. One was a sterling wire wrapped bracelet with a black onyx cabochon, another was a chain maille necklace and earring set and the third a chain maille bracelet set with Swarovski crystals. When I went to help at the event I discovered the sterling wrapped bracelet had won 1st place in the jewelry category and a blue ribbon. I was overwhelmed. This is an organization of very talented artists and the judges were professionals. (No identifying information on the artists was available during judging)One of the judges later told me that mine had won because it was “professionally finished and finely detailed.”
    The bracelet sold during the event to a gentleman who told me he “only buys original works” and he asked me to sign my piece!

    • avatar

      Narlene Allen

      July 11, 2013 at 9:11 am

      What a wonderful experience. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I do believe that there is validity in entering local and regional competitions. It sounds like this gave you some additional confidence and validation of your skills, as well as the encouragement to continue. Blind judging can be very scary for anyone from the beginner to the very experienced, because it’s really about you putting yourself out there to be judged. Much like performers, for artisans, it comes down to what you make and the emotions that are tied into that piece. I applaud you for your courage and effort! Keep it up. It sounds like you had a good experience and hopefully you will find success again. Great job and good luck in the future!