When I first read about the Build a Line Challenge sponsored by my friend Brenda Sue Lansdowne of B’Sue Boutiques.com, I hadn’t a clue what I was getting myself into, nor did I know really what she was talking about. I mulled it around in my head for a while, tossed a few ideas back and forth, and thought, “Why Not, Chicken Little? Just do it.” I took the leap and am glad that I did. Not only do I get to do what I love, create jewelry, I’m also connecting with other artists and learning more than I dreamed possible in such a short time. Our group consists of 56 brave, supportive, creative artists. When I sent in my application, little did I know how rich this opportunity would become.
What does it mean to “Build a Line?” This is a tough concept to embrace for an artist who prides herself on creating one of a kind pieces, bores easily, and who loves to experiment. Since I don’t like to replicate the same piece, I’ve opted to build my line differently, using like materials to create it with a focus on the style of the line. This is causing me to think in ways I’d never considered, is forcing me to question my thinking, and proving to be enlightening. What I once considered as truths, appear now as myths, masquerading as truths. I’ve discovered that stubborn me can be wrong, wrong, wrong.
Here is a glimpse at the type of jewelry I love to make. I tend to make pieces that are labor intensive, too dressy for everyday wear, and too exclusive to be worn with more than a few outfits. That isn’t good if you want to sell more of your pieces—not good at all. Time to regroup and create a body of work, which has broader appeal, is more affordable, and with fewer colors.
Today marks the genesis of my first attempt at a line. It’s called Deck out that Denim . Seriously, who doesn’t own a pair of jeans—or some black slacks—and a few plain tops? These basic wardrobe pieces can be found in nearly every closet in the country. But how we put those items together is as varied as we are.
I was at T.J. Maxx one day. A woman walked up to the jewelry counter. She was clad in all black: boots, jeans, and top and she looked like a million dollars. It was how she “packaged” herself that intrigued me. She was dripping in silver, carnelian and turquoise. It dangled from her ears, snugged both wrists, and several necklaces fell in layers over her blouse. At her waist was a belt, inlaid with the same gemstones encased in silver. While some would find the combination over the top, maybe even tacky, and wouldn’t dream of wearing that much jewelry at one time, this gal looked hot. She was tall, sleek, sported a million dollar hair cut. Not only was she runway material, she was a jewelry maker’s dream.
Deck out that Denim pieces will be mostly metal. I’ve never paired those metals before, but I think they “pop” when paired together. We are to create 5 cohesive pieces in our lines as part of this challenge.
All of the artists involved in this endeavor are posting their blog today to give you a sneak peak at their journey. We’ll post a progress report on February 20, with a reveal of our lines, fully completed on March 20. In the meantime, I hope you will hop on over and see what my creative friends are doing. Oh, and if you could, do be kind enough to drop them a line of encouragement. This is a first for most of us. A few kind strokes would be nice. Those involved in the Build A Line Challenge are listed below. Please give them my best!
So without further fuss, here is the list of wonderful folks participating in this journey. Trust me, they have been busy!
Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B’sue Boutiques
Mary Katherine Deis
Jennifer Merrill Williams
Denise Lussier Poirier