Re: what catagory is my work?

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Posted by Luann Udell on January 23, 2001 at 07:07:45:

In Reply to: what catagory is my work? posted by J. Benjamin on January 19, 2001 at 07:30:46:

: I handpaint glass and crystal vases. The process involves using different painting techniques and different classes of paints to create a mineral like appearance. I also use decoupage and and gilding techniques (composite and gold leaf). The vases are also decorated with wire work (jewelry quality) and hand made glass beads (jewelry quality). The bottoms are finished with felt. I do the design, painting and the wire work. I don't make the vase or the beads. The vases have a very contemporary look. I have sucess selling them for $30-$300 dollars. I am unsure of how to catagorize my work. I am just starting to apply to shows and realized there are all these types of crafts and art catagories! What am I doing? Thanks in advance.

The best person who can answer that question for you is the people who create those categories for each show. I've learned the hard way to call and ask what category they'd prefer to see my work in. If you try to second-guess this process, you can run into some obstacles (as John pointed out with the "glass" category.) If you apply early enough, so that the people organizing the shows are buried in preparations, they are usually happy to help you decide where you belong. In a smaller show, where the "in-house" people make the decisions, maybe it's not so critical. But when they bring in outside jurors, or jurors for specific media, then you have to be a bit more careful about your category (again, John's reference to glass usually being for people who actually make their glass.) Asking the show organizers can also work to your advantage another way--they are usually helpful about placing your work in the category where you have a better chance of being juried in. For example, although half my work is jewelry, almost everyone I've ever checked with has suggested I *not* apply under jewelry, because the competition is so stiff--I would end up competing with people who work in precious stones and metals, and the sheer number of jewelers is usually high for these spots. I have always been steered to categories that still fit my work, but have much less competition going on.

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