I am so very pleased to announce that my piece, "Geology", has won First Place in the "Other Finished Bead Jewellery" category of the 2010 British Bead Awards. This piece is a personal favorite of mine, so I couldn't be happier.
I'm also quite happy, as this is actually a piece that failed to place in a different contest earlier this year (followers of my blog may recognize it).
In the past couple years, there has been a lot of interesting writing in the blogosphere about jewelry design contests and what it means for artists to put themselves out there to enter contests - and how it feels if their pieces do not make the cut. Most of this dialogue has been in connection with the Bead Dreams competition (in fact, if you are not already familiar with it, I highly recommend you visit "Didn't Make it into Bead Dreams - But Still Winners!" on Facebook which contains photos from interested contributors of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous designs I have ever seen), but I think what these artists have to say ring true for any contest or submission process.
I don't think there could possibly be a person out there who doesn't feel at least a little depressed to receive a notice of rejection, whether it be for a magazine project, book proposal, contest or what have you. An artist always has an investment in what she creates and a sense of pride (or at least she should!) - it's hard not to take it personally when someone tells you that the piece doesn't fit or isn't exactly what they're looking for. I think it's so important in these instances to remember that judging any design is subjective and that not all judges will agree on what makes a piece outstanding or even use the same criteria for what makes a piece suitable for a particular category of design.
I've done pretty well by the contests I entered in 2010, but, believe me, I've had my fair share of rejections, too, including the one for which "Geology" was originally entered. However, as I said, I really like this piece - I had and continue to have a positive feeling about it. So, when I had the opportunity to enter it in the British Bead Awards, I moved forward. And I think the award is much more meaningful to me, as a result of this history.
As if that weren't enough, I have also earned Second Place in the "Metal Clay Jewellery" category of the 2010 British Bead Awards for "Words of Love". I created this piece specifically to enter the British Bead Awards. As I mentioned earlier, the design was pretty experimental for me - one of those concepts I wasn't sure anyone but me would actually like, so I'm quite excited to have placed with this design as well.
Thank you so much to Bead Magazine and to the judges of the British Bead Awards. I'm so grateful to have been a part of the Awards this year, and - my favorite part - I can't wait to see the other finalists' designs when they're published later this winter!