Posted by Lora Hart
In my last post I talked about the big chalkboard sticker I put on the wall of my studio so I wouldn't forget about submissions and other important dates. My fellow Senior Instructor, Janet Alexander, then asked how I found out about the various events I wanted to keep track of. It's pretty basic really. Mostly a matter of paying attention and being in the right place at the right time.
Here are some of the places where I get my information:
1. I'm a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG). I certainly don't consider myself a metalsmith of any kind, although I do use some metalsmithing techniques in my work. But I belong to the organization for a few of reasons.
a. They have a gorgeous print (or digital if you prefer) magazine that's published five times a year.
b. They periodically send out email newsletters with information about classes and Calls For Entry.
c. I feel that the more metal clay users join this prestigious mostly hard metals group, the faster metal
clay will be a widely accepted form of jewelry making.
d. They sponsor a conference every year that travels from city to city. In 2013 it will be in Toronto,
and I'll be attending for the first time! There are already plans for the 2014 conference and calls
for seminars and talks.
2. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has a page on their website dedicated to calls for entry.
3. Lark Books has changed the name of their website to Lark Crafts and always lists submission
opportunities. Today they're looking for beads of any kind (can you hear opportunity knocking?),
clay figures (who says they can't be made of metal clay?), and quilts.
4. Every single time I hear or read about an opportunity (mostly in various FaceBook comments) I write it down. That's how I knew about the Mitsubishi 'Tales of the Heart' competition.
5. I belong to a number of groups on FB and friend as many jewelry makers of all ilks as possible so I can read their wall and perhaps pick up a tip or two.
6. If you know of awards that are given each year like Saul Bell's and Niche Magazine's, search out information on them.
7. Occasionally submissions are by request only. You just have to be friends with the right people at the right time. Geesh! They don't make it easy sometimes. Keep your ears and eyes open, and contact the artist in question yourself if you hear about an opportunity.
8. Google 'jewelry awards competition' or 'jewelry design awards' or variations to see a long list of jewelry related awards.
9. Of course Metal Clay Artist Magazine, Metal Clay Today, and other publishers, retailers, and manufacturers are always having design competitions. Go to their websites for more information.
10. A great way to get started submitting if you're shy about trying for a national award is to send photos of your work to magazines like those mentioned above, Jewelry Artist and Art Jewelry.
11. If you discover that you've missed the deadline for this year's submissions, make a note of the general time frame on your calendar for next year. For instance, the Saul Bell Awards deadline this year was September 14, so I'll make a note at the beginning of summer to check their website for the 2014 dates. That will give me the opportunity to design and make something for the competition and send in my submission it in plenty of time.
For craft shows - Greg Lawler's Sourcebook 'event weekly' (that isn't really sent out every week) lists craft show's around the country. While googling for information for this post I also came across this blog post. Looks like a site that might have other valuable show information.
For teaching - Bead and Button, Bead Fest, Art and Soul, and other large jewelry making 'conferences' have websites that list deadlines for proposals.
Look in the back of magazines for the ads that promote these various opportunities and make note of them. Be proactive and ask friends and colleagues to help in your search.
edit. Remember that The Art and Design of Metal Clay Jewelry lists submissions on the right side of each calendar page.
If you know of any awards or other submission opportunities that I've missed, please make a comment and I'll edit them into this post for future reference.