This year’s Powderhorn Art Fair was the best I’ve had yet, I’ve learned a lot about the presentation of my work, pricing, diversifying my offerings and being conversational. I’ve also come a long way in understanding the intersection between what I do and what the market wants. That is a really foggy place to visit, because you’re always coming from a place colored by the experience of just having made the work, and it’s hard to be objective about it until some time has passed. If the point is to come up with a formula and follow it with minimal variation, I think I could comply if I retained three or four different mediums, so as to stay engaged over the long haul.
That means not just one set of production challenges, but four. Four ways of repeating experiments in image manipulation and application, four different surface conditions to understand. I’m thinking about continuing with jewelry, ceramics, prints and someday even getting back into installation art with a participatory element. A limited print-on-demand collection to cover the low end of the price spectrum, and highly involved sculptural wearables at the high end. It could be too much, too broad a spectrum, but I believe there is a way to integrate them all with the right visual vocabulary and unifying set of rules.
Hand cut stencil art applied to stoneware, the beginning of many vessels to come.
The process of applying airbrushed stencil cuts to ceramic vessels uses the images one way, the same image can be applied to base metal with enamels, or scanned into a computer to be printed onto fabric or paper. If the color palette and designs are uniform across the board, I think I’ve just developed a collection? Not to be overly commercial, or kitschy, I just like a lot of problems to solve, with a lot of latitude for growth and change. If I hem myself in too much, I always seem to push out of the designated perimeters – maybe by leaving a few avenues to exhaust creative content, I’ll be able to actually bring it in further.
One of the exciting parts about this weekend was attracting green energy, more feedback and validation in the way of purchases. I immediately reinvested the proceeds into materials, which I might have waited on a little had I not been so giddy, but I’m committed to using them now. A limited edition of matted prints on a high-quality paper will act as a segue back to larger panels. I’m feeling a desire to integrate paints or dyes along with the stencils on ceramic and metals. It’s a lot, it’s a lot, I know, but it’s where I have to go to get to the other side!