When I heard in November 2013 that I was a finalist for the Saul Bell Awards, my partner Patrick and I decided to build a big vacation around the award ceremony that would be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in conjunction with the Santa Fe Symposium. I wanted to attend the award dinner and the symposium, whatever the verdict, and I am so glad we did. Being immersed in the buzz of an award ceremony, meeting the winners from the other categories and hanging out with Anna Mazon was totally worth it!
The whole evening was perfectly organised. Entering the large ballroom, guests encountered cases where the finalists' jewelry was prominently displayed. Each piece was carefully lit so viewers could see every detail. I was impressed to see that every selection gets the attention it deserves.
During dinner Yvonne Padilla, Content Manager at Rio Grande, introduced Anna and me to several people from the company; such a great group of people. The ceremony itself started with short videos of all the winning artists compiled in a charming and humorous way. Then Alan Bell, President of Rio Grande, called up the artists one by one for each category and congratulated us publicly. Standing there as one of the nominees made me feel proud of my achievement. Seeing Anna and Christie getting recognition for their hard work was priceless.
This year was the first time the Saul Bell Awards ceremony was combined with the Santa Fe Symposium. It was great to mingle with the symposium attendees, a group that includes leaders in jewelry production technology from around the world. While casting, 3D printing and fabrication were well represented, I found that many attendees still didn't understand much about metal clay and the benefits it can bring to the field. Being at the symposium has given me a greater understanding of how the jewelry industry works and a new perspective on making production work to earn a profit.
Patrick and I took three weeks to explore the American Southwest, including a trek to the floor of the Grand Canyon. When I returned home, I received a handsome book that features all the finalists' pieces along with text from the artists describing the motivation behind their work. This will be a great tool to show during art markets and expositions as well as a meaningful reminder of this very special chapter in my life.
Finalist in the Metal Clay category 2014.