It was such a weird day.  Well let's just say the Atlanta Apparel Mart is not a good fit ... literally nothing really handmade, no artisan work of any kind ... at least we didn't see anything.  We left the house at 6:30 to head down there for what turned out to be a 3 1/2 hour drive - not so bad.  We tried 3 times through the morning and early afternoon to check into the motel, but no rooms were ready.  We ended up staying at the mart for about an hour and a half ... and that was a stretch.  There were some nice showrooms, but nothing for us and then there was way too much really scary stuff.  After bailing on the show, we thought we'd go to a museum that looked like walking distance - it wasn't there!  What up with that?  Back to the motel.  If we left the parking lot, we'd lose our parking space and have to wait until after the show closed at 6 to have any chance of parking.

So about 1:00 we decided to head to a section of town we remembered as having cool restaurants and shops.  It's been about 10 years since we were in Atlanta ... things have changed.  Lunch was okay, the once progressive, interesting shops are gone and the new ones were mostly geared towards the college crowd.  But I knew for sure, one favorite shop was still there - Mooncake.  If you want to see the kind of clothing they sell, it's kind of an east coast version of Kati Koos.  I wanted to see if it might be a good spot for my jewelry.  This is where the day turned around and what the Universe must have been trying to tell us all day ... go to Mooncake!  The owner was there, we chatted for a good while, she loves my work, we exchanged emails, plus I got some much needed feedback.

After that, we were done.  I called the motel and cancelled our reservation.  I called the housesitter, apologized profusely and said to pack up, we were coming home early.  We got home just before 8, exhausted, but confident we had accomplished our goal of finding a place for my jewelry.

That's the challenge, isn't it?  Creating work, designing and making and putting your heart and soul into pieces.  You get to a stopping point, gaze upon your creations and then have no idea if there's a market for this body of work.  I have to admit, it's happened to me more than once or twice, nobody gets it ... at least nobody I know or have access to.  I've spent the last month completely absorbed in my new collection.  I look at it now and there's many elements that are the same or similar to things I've been doing ... but for some reason, it just feels very different ... more raw, more true.  I've been exploring the envelope's edge, well, my edge.  I've slipped my toe out there - just a wee bit.  Getting such a positive response from a respected shop owner was a huge boost to my confidence.

So what's next?  Good question.

I've got the Etsy shop loaded up, but things have changed there as well ... I need to figure out how to raise the profile of my shop and get the work seen.  I'm sort of ... no, I am ... following my nose and my heart.  Just taking one step at a time, and staying open to opportunities ... saying yes a lot more than usual.  One thing, though - I'm hesitant to get any deeper into the world of steel metal clay until I see if this work sells.  I might change my mind.  I've got so many ideas for bigger, bolder, genuine envelope busting work.  Hmmm, as I write this, I can see that - yes, I do need to go further, get fully acquainted with that edge, push my boundaries.  I've got a good start, a delicious taste ... don't stop now.  Onward ...........

Here's a peek at a couple more pieces...

That's it for now ... brain freeze has set in.

l i g a - kvk