Happy Camper

Happy Camper Necklace

Dichroic Glass and 5th Grade Camp

As some of you may know, I work part-time for the University of Washington as a field supervisor for student teaching interns.  One of the student teachers I worked with this past year was teaching a 5th grade class that was earning money to attend 5th grade camp.  The school had a kiln and the classroom teacher knew how to fuse glass.  So she created an after school glass club where students could learn how to make a variety of fused glass projects, which they would then sell to defray the costs of going to camp.  When I first started visiting this class they were selling dichroic fused glass pendants.  They ran this venture as a business.  They had business cards, they tracked their inventory, and their expenses and income.  All the proceeds went to helping defray the costs of 5th grade camp.  I looked through their extensive selection of pendants and selected the one you see here.

Happy Camper Necklace

Happy Camper Necklace

I felt I was contributing to a good cause and the pendant I selected is very nice.  I decided on a contemporary, asymmetrical design.

Happy Camper Necklace

Happy Camper Necklace

The turquoise, bow tie shaped beads on the right, are vintage German glass.  The metallic black, tip drilled glass beads feel really silky in the hand (yes, I am a very tactile person).  The clasp is sterling silver and the length is adjustable.

Happy Camper Necklace

Happy Camper Necklace

I decided to name this the “Happy Camper Necklace“, since the purchase of the pendant helped send those 5th graders to camp. And believe me, they had a blast there and learned a lot about science, social studies and cooperative work.

Later in the year, the kids also made fused glass wall vases, light catchers and garden markers.  What a great way to integrate business skills, art, math, science (properties of glass), and social skills!  Way to go 5th graders!

The “Happy Camper Necklace” is now available in my ArtFire shop.

FUSION Summer Arts Festival 2011

Fantasia

The FUSION  Summer Arts Festival, a fundraiser for homeless housing, took place on August 3rd.  This year’s theme was called Fantasia and it featured food and performing arts from several Asian countries.  On the stage were traditional songs and dance from Japan, and Chinese drumming and a dragon dance, to name a few.  Surrounding the stage and dinning tables were artist’s booths–including mine!

This was the first outdoor show that I had ever done, and to be truthful, I was quite nervous.  My friends, lampwork artists,  Jenelle Aubade and Dan Caracas loaned me their tent.  Another friend of mine (pictured below, on the left) helped me at the show.  I was especially grateful for her assistance in setting up and taking down the booth,  but she also kept me company throughout the show, helped customers and calmed my pre-show jitters.

Jewelry booth at the Fusion fundraiser for the homelessThis was also the first time that I had ever had two display tables.  I worried that I wouldn’t have enough jewelry and display pieces to really fill two tables.  It was a little sparse, but not embarrassingly so. I need signage and more jewelry busts, I think.  Other ideas?  I’d love feedback on how to improve my booth from those of you with more experience than I–or anyone with an idea!  Be honest!

I had laid out my camera to bring along with me, but somehow neglected to pick it up when I loaded up the car.  (*Curses under her breath*)  Jerry, the nice guy in the booth next to mine, took these two pictures and emailed them to me the next day.  If I’d had my camera along, I would have shown you pictures of some of the performers and the other booths.

My jewelry booth at a fundraiser for the homelessI used Picnik photo editing to make my first(!) blog collage to show you a few of the items that sold.

bracelets, earrings and a necklace that sold this weekAs you can see, there is no particular trend here.  There’s dressy, casual, elegant, funky, sterling silver, copper, gunmetal, and brass.  I sold an absolutely wild, bright green and black, huge necklace to an artist before the show even started.  Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it to show you.  It was so-o-o big, spiky and nearly-florescent green, that I thought it would never sell.  It had been passed over at shows for several years and I was starting to hate it!  But sometimes it just takes awhile for a piece to find its proper home.  The painter who bought it was a “live-your-life-out-loud” kind of gal and the necklace was perfect for her.  She put the necklace on right there, wore it throughout the show and pointed people to my booth, every time they commented on it. It makes me smile every time I think about it!

The show was the same week as the budget crisis impasse and the sales in most of the booths were down over the last year.  However there was also a silent and live auction, at which people made generous bids.  It was all for a good cause and I learned a lot by doing this show.

Click on this link for a slide show from the local news, if you’d like to see more pictures.  (My booth is not included in these slides).

I’d love to hear from you and I’m interested in suggestions for my booth.  Have a lovely weekend.