I can't believe the time has gone that fast! I set up my art exhibit in the Cheng - Kim Loke gallery in Slimbridge's WWT centre back in July and on Wednesday I went back in to collect it. Well, most of it. I'd made 84 pieces in total and I only took home 52!
The gallery director was really excited for me, and she told me that my set-up was gorgeous, too. Most people use black velvet jewellery stands or just put things on the white surface of the plinths, but I set everything up on wooden blocks instead. It brought out the colours and draw a little more attention; she said it wouldn't have looked as good on the white surface or against black velvet. I got it spot-on. My dad said I should decorate the wood but I thought it would be too much, so I didn't - it was the jewellery I wanted people to see, not wood, and I'm glad I ignored him! Not that I didn't appreciate his suggestion, but he has a habit of taking things too far sometimes.
As for pieces sold...I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed that there were still so many left, but as it was my first art exhibit I really didn't know what to expect. It was only when when I stopped and really thought about the fact that I'd sold 32 pieces that I suddenly felt over the moon! The gallery director was really excited for me, too, and from what she said I actually did really well in general. Because of the time of the year that my exhibit was in place the centre got a lot of visitors and because my displays were so unique, rather than typical jewellery displayed, I got a lot of attention and people were getting quite excited. Compared to other artists I actually sold a lot!
I don't really know what I expected - I suppose I hoped to have sold half of it, but as it's a gallery, not a shop, that was probably quite unrealistic. To purchase you have to speak to gallery staff rather than just pick it up and take it to the counter, so it's harder to impulse-buy, but like I said, according to staff I did really, really well.
Of course, on the days leading up to collection I did start to hope that I hadn't sold too many because I wanted lots of new things for my Etsy shop over Christmas, and it looks like I've got just that! Lots of limited pieces, different to my usual stuff but all animal jars, that are ready to ship. The perfect Christmas set-up!
Thinking about it all now, I'm really pleased with how it went. I sold lots more than other people do, I've got lots left over for my shop which means lots of new stock without the work, I'm getting a nice big cheque in the coming week, and I got my name out there. A number of people contacted me on Etsy throughout the exhibit to say that they purchased some pieces and were in my shop to buy more, so that was really awesome. I suppose, in that case, I sold more than 32!
I can't say that I'd do it again, though. I got lucky with the time of year and I spread the work of creating the pieces out over a year and a half, so it was managable and with really great rewards, but it's not something I would want to risk again. Any other time of the year would be less successful, and you may recall that my shop suffered while I was working on the exhibit, as every new piece I made was set aside for the gallery rather than for my shop. Fortunately this means that there's lots and lots of new things now - about 30 new pieces, I think - and my shop can reap the benefits.
So keep your eyes open in the coming few weeks for new pieces from the exhibit!