Be Amazing. Even better. There is a special place in my heart for those who reach out across the plains of the universe and take hold of that which is greater than themselves. They take risks so dangerous that many on the sidelines gasp! This is life. This day is the only day like it. You can not re-live it, you cannot take it back and you can not change this day. It is what it is.... but yes, tomorrow is a new day.... and tomorrow can be anything you want it to be.
Take pleasure in this day. Fill it up like a cardboard box with anything you like and imagine that you are the star of the show, the queen of the night, and the hero in your own happy ending. I find that those who shoot for the snow covered caps reach heights far beyond they ever imagined even if they do not reach the stars. This is the brilliance that only you can offer and only you can bring....
There is something so special about the New Year! It is a chance to be anything you want to be.... to imagine the wonderous possibilities. Take ownership of this year! It is the most amazing gift I can offer for when you own it, you control it. You can determine the course of this year and where it will take you.
So though many of us have felt the cold set grip of fear this last year I beg each of you to release it. Let it go and capture something true to who you are. Realize that your deepest and darkest fear..... aknowledge it's strength and it's ability to change the course of your life.... then realize it as a change in direction and not the end of a universe. Let go of that which holds you in bonds and remember that being safe rarely brings the pleasure of an unexpected adventure.
There is no place you cannot go, no person you cannot be, no dream you cannot imagine..... you may have to work for it....... but it is there waiting for you to realize it.
Xo and Happy Twenty Ten!
From the one that believes in you!
Delias Thompson / Wednesday, December 30, 2009 / 0
I had a friend introduce me the concept of a vision board a couple of years ago. You create a board using magazines, articles, whatever you want to idealize where you want to be. I loved the idea and went out and purchased this board for the studio.
My board however has adapted over the last couple of years to something I find truly useful. I use the board to develop new work. The actual bulletin portion of the board is where I tack up work that is in progress. I put anything up that has not been finalized whether it is a piece that I like but have not finished, an idea I like but have not fully explored, a piece that is missing a component, or even things that I have finished but have not decided if they will work within my permanent collection.
The white board is always a mess. I use this side for renderings of ideas that have not yet been fabricated in metal, items I need to order, appointments or things I need to do, and of course whatever current mantra I am working within.
This board has really taken on a life of it's own and has really helped me to build on what is missing. I am a visual person so having these pieces up where I can view them while I work helps. I am able to problem solve throughout the day and in a relaxed atmosphere. It seems everything is able to come together in it's own time and nothing is forgotten. I have also begun using the board to put up the finished collection as well. I can immediately see if there is a missing hole that needs to be filled or if there is a piece not getting along with the others.
I thought I would share the idea because it has become such an important tool in my studio.
Delias Thompson / Monday, December 28, 2009 / 5
So Christmas is just a few days away and November and most of December just flew by. I always forget how hectic this time of year is and how quickly time escapes me. The days flew by as I filled Christmas orders and stocked the shelves of retailers carrying my work.
I always look forward to the months following Christmas, as this is time spent working at a peaceful and steady pace. I enjoy my work most with a little pressure but without the anxiety of more to do in less time than I can do it in. I find that I get a perfect rhythm going when I work steadily and I enjoy each stage; cutting, forming, soldering, filing, sanding... it becomes a dance.
I spent the last three months researching my new designs and am so pleased with the new pieces that will begin rolling out in January. Each has gone through every step of the design stage and has been perfected. There is an ease that comes after this stage and you move from research and development to implementation. I am so excited but just like last year, I plan to begin these steps much earlier next year.
I am always surprised by how quickly the year rolls by when you gauge its progress by shows, holidays, and seasonal market changes.
Delias Thompson / Wednesday, December 23, 2009 / 1 comments
I used to hear this term all the time before I started Delias Studio.... I didn't think much about it until suddenly I found myself trying to specialize in all aspects of the business. There are some things I will always pay for ( a good accountant) but there are others that will stretch me too thin.
I have been wanting to develop my own website for awhile. I have been using creative pixels to host my site but it limited and it has served it's purpose but I have been anxious to get something a little nicer up. I want to keep it simple and clean but interesting and dynamic. I have spent hours trying to develop some skills in order to do this and have always fallen short but this weekend I did some research and found a program that even I could use. I built this using Freeway... and I think I am quite happy with the results. It's still fairly simple but much nicer than my current site and has a little style and edge to it. This is the homepage and I am going to continue developing the rest of the site but it took me most of day to get this page together.
So what do you think? Should I keep moving forward with this concept or should I save my pennies for a webmaster?
Delias Thompson / Sunday, November 15, 2009 / 4
I have always had private markers stretched out before me that I felt would check off points of personal success. Things I want but wasn't sure I could achieve. Some of them are short-term goals and some of them long.
In my own mind these things can be a bit intimidating. They are the things that push me to keep moving forward but also bring out the dark secretive thoughts that criticize my work and fear it is not good enough. It's a yen and a yang though for without the fears..... I would not continue to evolve and push myself and through pushing myself I sometimes find I can achieve these goals that seem so difficult when set.
One of my personal goals has been to exhibit at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Considered the premiere show in Atlanta it showcases some pretty extraordinary talent and has course some amazing metalsmiths. Every year I apply and each year I have been declined invitation.
Today I was throwing myself a small pity party, as I was not invited to a local show that highlights both local and national metalsmiths. All of the voices in my head came out to join the party when I received the e-mail congratulating me for my acceptance to the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Instant validation prevailed and I realized that I have come so far and perhaps a small nod of encouragement from myself would not be outlandish. This is a big step mentally for me and I feel that I am on track and moving in the right direction. Again, I must remember to believe in the possibilities and myself even when they seem distant.
Never give up. Always believe. It is all possible.
Delias Thompson / Tuesday, November 10, 2009 / 3
Sometimes a few days to step away can make all of the difference. This is the first weekend since I can remember that I did not spend a single second in the studio. I ate well, drank well, and generally spent my time enjoying myself.
I think sometimes life can be taken too seriously and only time away can remind you that this great adventure is first and foremost supposed to be fun.
Don't sweat the small stuff and yes, most of it is small stuff!
Delias Thompson / Sunday, November 8, 2009 / 1 comments
It's time to rest my mind for a few days and find some inner peace before the rush of the holidays begins. It's been a long year and there has been triumph and loss, love and sadness, new beginnings and chapters ending....
I like to stop when things get to be too much. Just stop. Remember where I am and look back to see where I have been. This helps me to realign myself and choose a new direction and decide where I want to go.
So my husband and our two good friends will be heading off to the mountains for a few days of good food, wine, and fresh crisp air. I can barely wait. I can already feel the release inside.
Delias Thompson / Tuesday, November 3, 2009 / 0
What do you do when you believe with every part of yourself that something is wrong? What do you do when you see someone wronged in a way that turns your stomach? Do you stand up or turn and look away? Do you secretly support them or do you support them for all the world to see? Do you risk it all or do you offer only what you are willing to risk? How far do you go in your support? Does it run deep or is it on the surface?
I am saddened to live in a world where I often see people walk away from things they believe are wrong. It's so easy to choose to walk away or to believe that these things are none of our business and yet I can't help but wonder if we all choose to walk away.... do these things become prevalant and tolerated in a society to such a point that they then become permissable? Do we leave the world a better place by denying that which we do not want to deal with?
Currently I am mulling over a situation that has occured that I cannot tolerate, justify or condone. I believe that most things in life are black and white..... that wrong is wrong and right is right. I try to point my inner compass to that which I can stand behind and admit fully and freely to anyone, anywhere. I believe that each step I take in life must be defended and if I do that which I know is right, I can stand proud with my head held high, come what may. And yet...... I find myself torn as to how to feel and what to do about this situation. Does a group's failures become an individual's failures by association? Do these things reflect upon me as an individual. No matter how I try to navigate around this question, I continue to come back to the fact that it does. And though it would be easier to look away or to look at things from such an angle that they can be ignored in my heart I feel that it is not true to who I am.
I want to believe in the things that I represent and the things that represent me. Is it melodramatic? Some would say yes..... Even silly to lose something you hold dear for another you do not know. In the end they say, it will change nothing..... And yet. I know that it will change me. Little by little I will become the girl who walks away. Who justifies my failure to stand up for that which I believe in because it is not my fight.
My best and worst quality..... it is the same. It is a passion that I live with. It divides me some days and it holds me true on others. It gets me into trouble and it helps me break down barriers. And yet, it is the fire which holds me steady and true in the path that I walk. And this no matter how I rearrange it, is true.
So though I may stand alone and though I may change nothing, and though I may lose something I hold dear, I must stand because standing is what I do so that I will never forget how.
Delias Thompson / Sunday, November 1, 2009 / 4
I joined Etsy Metal several years ago hoping to make friends and connect with people with the same passion for metal....
Little did I know that over the years I would connect with some of the greatest people I know. This is a little thank you to a group that has supported me in hard times and celebrated with me in good. Some of the most passionate and talented people I know..... and also some of the biggest hearts! Thank you!
Please visit the Etsymetal site to immerse yourself in a wonderful world of metal and craft..... Etsy Metal
Delias Thompson / Monday, October 26, 2009 / 1 comments
My husband and I listen to music in two different ways. I have to connect to the lyrics as well as the music and he only the music. Half of the time he has no idea what the words being sung actually are.....
I have been on the lookout for new music. I love finding something new and fresh. Something that speaks to me from a deep place. This creates the energy I need to create. Often times the music on my ipod is instrumental in what happens physically with the torch and the metal.
Recently I found Joshua James. He vocalizes in such a way that he creates images from a deep inner part of the soul. He carries me through the drifting fog and uplifts me no matter how dark the sky is outside my window.
The TV’s blaring, the radio is turned up loud
Maybe then I’ll sleep well, maybe then I’ll drown you out.
Don’t want to think much I don’ t want to reminisce
Cuz love songs and poems have all lead, they’ve all led me to this.
It’s dangerous, to be sleepin alone.
And it’s way way way it’s way to cold
To be at home.
I’ve locked up tightly I must say I’ve had my doubts
Cuz they will kick and they will scream but there’s no way they’re ever getting out.
They breathed fresh air once, a long time a long time ago.
And now stuck up inside my head, how they ever gonna grow?
It’s dangerous, to be sleepin alone.
And it’s way way way it’s way to cold
To be at home.
And I am what I am, yes I am what I am
It ain’t that bad.
What I’m tryin to say here is not worth, it’s not worth your time
I’m just a lonely, a lonely love sick boy with my rhyme.
It’s dangerous, to be sleepin alone.
And it’s way way way it’s way to cold
To be at home.
And I am what I am, yes I am what I am
It ain’t that bad.
And even the toughest white boy, yes even the baddest white boy
He still gets sad.
Delias Thompson / Friday, October 23, 2009 / 3
I looked at my calendar and realized something strange.... Something has changed since I first started Delias Studio, Inc. There are strange notations and blocks of time wiped out, there are odd numbers written in margins and odd acronyms like BMAC and check marks, tallies, and stars..... what does it all mean?
My understanding of the months and seasons has evolved to something from a science fiction mini-series. It seems that there is now a constant flow ..... get ready, go, get ready, go, get ready, go....... breathe...... get ready, go, get ready, go, and though my balance is on par with that of a adolescent great dane, all legs and no grace, I have somehow found a mesmerizing rhythm to this new concept of time.
So alas, last weekend was my last show for awhile and though the excitement was well, exciting! I am ready for the break. I am ready to get back in the studio and fabricate some of the ideas that have bouncing in my head. Of course, I do not have too much time as we all know November and December are right around the corner but for these precious few weeks I hope to play with some stones that have been sitting on my bench and work out some concepts that I have been drawing in my sketch book. This for me is the best time of the year, winter is coming and with it..... the time to design new work!
Delias Thompson / Wednesday, October 21, 2009 / 2
I really enjoy exhibiting at shows! I know it is a lot of work but I usually have a lot of fun. It is rare for me to get in front of people who are purchasing my work and it is an experience that is significantly thrilling and of course at times, utterly humbling.
This year I have signed up for more shows than ever. Partially due to the economy and a general idea that I need to work harder to get in front of those interested in my work and partially to see which trends will be most popular in my line. I try really hard to watch as things are picked up, touched, and tried on. I try to keep a keen eye out for possible function problems or price hesitation so I can make changes accordingly. All of this has given me a lot of insight to my work and has also helped me solve particular function problems with specific pieces.
One of my most recent discoveries was how troubling it could be to stock both sixteen and eighteen inch necklaces. At times I sell out of a particular length in a particular design and since all of my components are soldered closed, I couldn't change out the chains. I realized that this created a problem on multiple levels. Shortly after the show I changed out my chains to adjust from sixteen to eighteen inches.
All handcrafted items need tweaking from time to time and I am finding the best way to discover objections is to get right in the grit of things. If you have not yet exposed yourself publically, try it, you just might find that you get hooked too.
Delias Thompson / Friday, October 2, 2009 / 2
This is my first time being invited to the annual Historic Norcorss Art Fest and I am excited to be exhibiting. The list of participating artists is impressive so if you have some time this weekend and feel like stepping a bit off the beaten path, come visit us in historic Norcross. To catch a preview check out their website at http://www.norcrossartfest.com
Delias Thompson / Wednesday, September 30, 2009 / 0
So often I have people at shows or even people I meet throughout my day who get confused when I say I make jewelry. Their minds immediately go to beads and strings so I often follow up with the description that I hand fabricate most of my work from precious metals.
A moment goes by and then looking even more confused they follow up with a list of questions until I explain that by fabricating I mean I build jewelry like a contractor would build a house but I use sheet and wire to build my little pieces.
Many people have no earthly idea what it means when I fabricate jewelry and I still have not found a better way to describe it. A picture is worth a thousand words so I thought I would share at least one. In this particular photo I am working on a cluster wrap ring.
Delias Thompson / Sunday, September 27, 2009 / 5
So many of you already know that most of the words that I choose for the Create Your Own Story line are snippets taken from my own private collection of poetry. I thought it might be fun to share some of the poems in their entirety...
because there is a light shining deep within me brighter than the rays of the sun more permanent than the essence of time
wretched days have come and gone i wear the scars like tattoos on my soul yet the flicker of hope greets me no matter the darkness inhabiting my mind
and yes, sometimes i let go dwelling in the shadows of that yesterday always to awaken with the strength of my knowledge when the light shines within, it never fades
Delias Thompson / Monday, September 21, 2009 / 1 comments
Etsymetal has created an interesting challenge to follow the season's Project Runway and mimic the challenges through jewelry.
In episode 4 the designers were challenged to design an outfit for their models. Since we do not have models we took three categories and threw them in a hat. Each person involved in the challenge had three chosen for them which they then had to design a piece including the three components.
The three components chosen for me were upcycle/green, plastic, and ring. This was a challenge for me as I typically do not work with alternative materials. I have plenty of pieces on the bench that have not worked out so I decided to start off by choosing a ring that I had messed up and cutting out the section that was unusable. I then rummaged through my scrap box for pieces of wire to use as the wrap. The tricky part for me was the plastic. I went through my jewelry box and found a bracelet that my sister had made for me many years ago. A slight twinge of guilt as I cut it open, but it was for a good cause! I drilled two holes on each side of the back of the ring and sewed sterling wire with plastic beads a long the front into the ring like a button.
I actually think this piece is quite sleek and wearable. My only disappointment would be that I think I could have moved further away from my comfort zone. The next project is newspaper so hopefully this will drive me to try something really new and different.
Please take a minute to check out the Etsymetal Blog for the portfolio of designs completed in this week's challenge.
Delias Thompson / Saturday, September 19, 2009 / 2
Earlier this year I realized that frantically moving from one thing to the next was beginning to take create a constant sense of disorientation. I decided to work on balance and thought nobody could teach this better than my three labs....
I must admit that the last few months I have gone a bit astray allowing all the many tasks to take over and fill my days. So as we move into fall I am thankful for the cool air that is beginning to greet me in the mornings and time to get back to the basic fruitfulness of life as it can be when it is not spent all day in the studio.
Every morning I take the pups for a walk on the trails in the Chattahoochee National Park but so often as they leap off the trails and chase the ducks fishing in the water I find my mind is off thinking about all of the many things I need to accomplish that day. Suddenly the walk is over and I realize that I had not spent that time as I intended...... just being.
So with all of the natural abundance and my need for constant inspiration I am looking to spend more time seeing what is in front of me with my own eyes and capturing the amazing elements in nature to inspire me as I move forward this year. As an Oregon girl I know that my natural compass points to the nearest tree and with the Theo's help, I should be able to stay on track this time.
Delias Thompson / Thursday, September 17, 2009 / 0
This is the first post of mine in a new series I have joined aligned with the Etsymetal blog carnival. For additional posts regarding this topic and EM, please see the links below.
My First Piece of Metalsmithed Jewelry....
Let me first start off by telling you that no, I do not have a photograph of my first piece. I am not a sentimental person when it comes to my work and I long ago scrapped all of my first pieces as looking at them just did not feel good.
I originally signed up for a metalsmithing class at a local art center because I was working full time at Kaiser Permanente as a medical underwriter and going to school full time at night for a degree in Risk Management. I felt overwhelmed with work and realized that if I didn't have something of my own that I enjoyed I was going to burn out. I signed up for a set of ten metalsmithing classes and continued to take classes once a week as I finished the last two years of my degree.
The first project in the class was a basic Egyptian Spiral Bracelet. This is a fairly easy concept but we soldered closed all of the spirals. I quickly realized that I was not going to be one of those innately talented metalsmiths who just automatically picked things up and ran with them. I actually enjoy sharing this portion of the story as many people I talk with are surprised and I think it brings them a little inspiration.
I was a TERRIBLE metalsmith for a long time. Nothing came easily to me. When I picked up a saw, my lines were crooked, when I made spirals, they were uneven, when I soldered, I had lumps. I was probably one of the least talented people in the class and it was embarrassingly hard for me to continue. However, I realized one thing early on. Some people can pick up a guitar, take a few lessons, and begin. Some must learn step by step, note by note, string by string, how to play the guitar. In the end, the result will be the same, two people playing guitar. This is something I hung on to as I learned to metalsmith. There were many people in the class who just seemed to have the natural ability to pick up any tool and use it well. I had to spend grueling hours to hone and practice my skills until I achieved success.
If I were to go back and make an Egyptian Spiral Bracelet today I am sure that I would find success. However, one of the things I have realized about my abilities as a metalsmith and in general is to focus on what you are good at. If you have weaknesses in a particular craft look for ways to move around them or practice them until you achieve perfection. There are still a few areas in metalsmithing that I fall short in (no, I'm not going to tell what.) but..... I have learned other techniques to support the fact that I have weaknesses and I have chosen to move in directions that maximize my strengths and not my weaknesses.
So if you are thinking about learning to metalsmith and you are overwhelmed by how terribly difficult it looks..... stop looking at the mountain at begin focusing on the single next step. One step at a time is all it takes..... and sometimes...... the ability to not give up makes all the difference.
For others blog posts about first metalsmithed pieces, please follow the links below for additional inspiration:
Finally, Fall is here and nobody could be happier than I! This weekend begins my Fall festival circuit and I have been busy getting ready. I always get nervous before the shows trying to figure out how much to stock and of course, what to stock.
I am anxious to roll out the new designs and get feedback. This is my favorite way to sell my work as I actually get to see and talk to the end user. This offers me so much valuable information but also really lets me connect with those who purchase my work.
Also, got a call yesterday from the local Sandy Spring's, Northside Neighbor, which is going to feature some of the local artists at the show. How exciting! I was asked to snap a few photos showing myself hard at work so this is one of five I sent over.
So some of you know that earlier this year I decided to work hard to branch into the wholesale arena. I was ready, able, and willing for a new challenge.
In August I participated in my very first wholesale show with the Buyers Market of American Craft. I have received several messages from fellow artists asking how it went and wanting additional information. Where better to tell my experience than on my blog?
Let me say that this may be the ultimate challenge for me and I am realizing that in order to achieve the success I am looking for I need to arm myself with additional tools and resources. I had a semi-successful show. It wasn't great and it wasn't terrible but lets just say it didn't meet my personal expectations.
However, if we measure a show by how much we learn than I would say the show was a brilliant. I don't think you can really understand or develop an idea of how you will succeed at these shows without participating in them. I also don't think that just attending a show will guarantee any sort of success. It will be a process and this is an idea I am trying to adapt to.
Being the girl who would rather learn from others mistakes I thought I would share some things I left the show with. These are the 8 steps I plan to work on for wholesale:
1. Create a vision board depicting the girl who buys my work. Where does she shop, what does she look like, what are her hobbies, who is she? I am going to cut up magazines and create a collage dedicated to this girl. Then with the vision board I will further tweak my current line to meet her needs.
2. Write down a list of objections: What are the objections to my work? People will not always tell you these so my job is to really watch buyers when they look at my work and listen to the customers questions. Once I understand what their objections are I can either change the line to meet their needs or redevelop my dialogue to overcome the objection before it is put forward.
3. Expand on success: I found one particular line was much more successful than the others. I will be expanding on this particular line to offer current and future retailers more choices.
4. Reach retailers before the show: I noticed that many retailers walked by without even looking. The few that did stop were already familiar with my work or stopped once they saw another buyers in my booth. I will continue advertising and will also introduce a postcard mailing to build awareness for my work.
5. Refine my story: Who am I and why do I matter? This is my story and only I can tell it. In order to truly reach people you need to be genuine but retailers and customers want to know more about you and who you are. You have to have a story that connects with people.
6. Know who I am as an artist: I'll admit when I came back there was a part of me that wanted to throw everything out the window and start over. There was a part of me that wanted to just develop a super inexpensive line and throw in the towel on creating a distinctive line.... it just looked easier. However, this is who I am and this is the work I create. I realize now that I will not be for everyone. The key is for me to understand and embrace that. I have to find a way to reach those I am a match for and embrace that this is who I am and what I do.
7. Develop a price spread: This doesn't mean you have to go less expensive all of the time. You can also create a more expensive line to develop a spread but a spread will help you reach out to more galleries both high end, low end, and moderate.
8. Have a script: Will this sounds terrible and I don't really mean to memorize your lines but know how to talk to the people who stop by. Know what you have to say before hand. This was really hard for me.... for once, I was at a loss for words!
So hopefully this will help others looking to break into this side of the business. The best tip I can give is to keep moving forward. Know that you will find success....... it may take some hard work though!
Delias Thompson / Friday, August 28, 2009 / 2
I am so excited about this new line. For a long time I have been selling the poetry line on etsy which includes my secret poetry stack rings. I often get requests for rings with stones or symbols to go a long with them. I thought it might be nice to create a line of rings featuring words, stones, and symbols so each person can create a set of stack rings that tells their story.
My favorite feature of these rings is that the stones and symbols are raised just slightly so the rings truly stack up. So often I see stack rings with stones that do not and it makes me sad. I wish I had longer fingers, I would wear them all!
The picture shows the first 11 in the series but I will be working to add more.
Delias Thompson / Saturday, August 8, 2009 / 4
One of the most important things I have discovered in my life is that you must choose where you want to go in life. You must have a goal and be able to determine the steps it takes to reach it with success. I know this is often easier said than done but taking the time to write out a list of goals each year and the steps you can take to help you reach them is so helpful in life and in business.
When I was 19 I found that my life was not moving in a direction that I wanted. I wrote down a list of all the things I wanted and didn't have and decided that I would give myself a year to accomplish them all. I was able to accomplish everything on my list within three months. This became a life lesson for me and I found that the act of looking at my life, deciding what I wanted, and writing it down helped me to complete the tasks needed to gain results.
Often times we think that we have an idea of where we want to go and don't feel the need to actually write out a list. It's in your head.... but let me challenge you to write out the list and fill in the steps. I think you will be surprised at how effective the act of writing down what you want and need can be.
Every year I write out a list of annual goals. Throughout the year I keep lists of my next goal and what I need to do to get there. I push myself to look at each of these as steps and to consider only what it takes to get to the next step. It helps to propel me forward and offers me a constant vision in which to focus on.
I am getting ready to leave Tuesday to accomplish a goal I have had for two years. I will be exhibiting at my first wholesale show in Philadelphia. I am so excited to see that I have reached this goal and I know that it is yet another step in a long list but an important one.
Know where you want to go, write it down, and take the steps necessary to get there! All things are easier when you look at the simple components.
Delias Thompson / Saturday, July 25, 2009 / 0
Trying to create an image for Delias Studio has been one of the hardest things I have had to work on. I've spent countless hours previewing websites, magazines, and graphics trying to determine what is my brand and what do I want to evoke.
One important component that came to mind almost immediately was that I did not want to use jury photos or basic product images for my booth and website. However, this seems to be one of those ideas that is easier thought than completed.
I had a million ideas for what I wanted my images to be but as a small company just picking up speed the cost of a professional photographer and model seemed out of my budget. I began to play with taking photos of my work in a way that does not depict the face of the model for two reasons. The first and most obvious being that I am the model for all of the photographs and the second was to tie back into my tag line, just be. I wanted "her" to be anyone. I am trying to depict the image or idea that we as individuals can be anyone and do anything. I thought the idea of not using faces keeps the image on the essence of the photo which is what I want to capture.
This is one of the images that I will be using for my large display pieces at shows. I have a few more worked up. I hope they evoke the message and idea that I planned.
Delias Thompson / Friday, July 17, 2009 / 0
"You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however." Richard Bach
The last few days I have found myself looking for inspiration. A new way of looking at things. I love to read the stories and inspiration that allowed others I admire to succeed and today I found a wonderful treasure. I have been reading Cindy Edelstein'sblog for some time and today I found a link to a powerful source of inspiration. Karen Lorene, owner of Facere Gallery in Seattle has not only started a blog sharing her expertise in retailing and running a successful business but I was also directed through her blog to the first nine chapters she has written regarding her adventure through retailing. Seven of the nine chapters had links that worked and I read them all. I felt so much inspiration and my mind began to buzz. I felt as if I could almost reach out and touch the strings I needed to give life to my dream. I love that Karen started off knowing so little about her industry but through her drive, ambition, and self-motivation she was able to overcome the obstacles thrust in front of her. I think it takes a certain kind of person to keep moving forward no matter what roadblocks you see up ahead. Sometimes sheer determination will get you further than anything else. I have so much admiration and respect for Mrs. Lorene having read her story and look forward to future chapters....... we all know the story has a happy ending!
I am one of those rare people who believe this to be true. I honestly believe it within myself and it is integral in who I am and how I live. I have found this to be a unique quality but one I plan to keep.
We as individuals create our own boundaries and with boundaries we create never ending limitations. Once the limitation is created; it is true. Deny the limitation and it is false. Think of how far you could go if you refused to create the limitation?
I am always surprised when I talk with other artists to find that they have already decided how far they could possibly go and what accomplishments they could achieve. They have created defined lines and in essence a box that they create within. The box is real because they believe it to be real. They have defined their path and how far they will go by defining the landscape and the palette in which they live.
The truth is anything is possible if you choose to believe it. Rarely did those who accomplished so much know that they would get there. They struggled like we did and worked themselves to the bone with hope and a dream. A dream of achieving more and of becoming more. They met with success because they first allowed the success to be a possibility in their lives. I have never met someone who is successful who honestly believed they could never succeed.
So this is my mantra and what has forced me to continue no matter how tired, frustrated, hopeless, and lost I feel. I believe that anything is possible and my belief makes this true.
Delias Thompson / Monday, June 29, 2009 / 4
I've been working hard on my booth set-up for the art shows and festivals. This is the most recent booth that I used for the Virgina Highlands Summerfest show. I thought this booth looked much better in person but I still feel like something is missing.
It seems the more professional I make my booth the more it loses it's personality. I am thinking about adding some large scale photography in the background to give the booth a little more pop. Also I am contemplating changing the red fabric to the green that matches my logo. This is by far the most professional booth I have had to date and drew a nice crowd to look at my work.
I thought you might find the transition interesting to see as I work on perfecting the booth display. You can see last year's display several posts down.
Delias Thompson / Monday, June 8, 2009 / 2
I am so thankful for this man, my husband, Carlos. Yesterday I was so stressed and overwhelmed I felt like everything was completely out of control. I called my husband and he was there like he always is.
I am constantly amazed at the support and love he offers me. He reminds me that I am not alone and that the struggles and stresses do not have to be burdened only by me. He will help me, make me laugh and do anything he can to help me. Just knowing that he is always there makes life easier and each struggle somehow less of a struggle.
I know it's simple, but I love him..... he is my hero...
Delias Thompson / Friday, June 5, 2009 / 0
Well first you might ask, who is them? I find it ironic that I left the corporate world because I hated the mindless politics only to find myself in the jewelry world with different mindless politics.
What is it that drives industries, organizations, and individuals to create barriers? Us vs. Them is something I see everyday everywhere. Academic vs. Professional, Retailing vs. Wholesaling, Etsy vs. E-bay..... The list grows as I find myself branching out into new corners of the jewelry world. It's enough to make a single metalsmith crazy.
I recently told a friend that if I ever become someone who must look down my nose at others to feel solid in my own achievements, please tell me! I find the mentality sickening as there is room for all of us and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for others. You must do what works for you and be proud of what you do. At the end of the day it is your life, your vision, and your success that ultimately will tell if you found the right venue and tone for your work.
I must say that I got caught up in the Us. vs. Them recently. I began to feel less than I am and to question my abilities as a what is the word, artist? A word I still am not comfortable with but will use for lack of another, I found myself caving into this belief that I wasn't as good as others because I wasn't academic enough, I sold my work through Etsy, I retail and I wholesale..... All of these things made me what? An amateur.
Yet..... Yesterday while talking with a friend I realized that I had moved away from everything I know. Everything that makes me happy and fulfilled as well as successful in my chosen medium. I allowed others who didn't know me and do not have my best interest at heart to sway me into thinking that I am not as good as they. That I am not following some pre-determined rules.... and then I remembered, well hell, I've never been good at following the rules anyway! Perhaps this makes me an amateur but I enjoy wandering the course and making choices that I feel confident in. I enjoy the process of finding my own way.... and dare I say it? If They have all the answers, how is it They have time to tell me how I should be running my business?
Realizing all of this ultimately led me to the conclusion that I had in the beginning. I am the only one who cares enough about my work to go the extra mile, take the extra risk, and invest the money and time that will make it successful. I am the only one who will ultimately make this venture successful. That is not to say that others do not want to see me succeed but I am the only one without any other conflict..... just me and my little company. So.... I must do what is best for this little company. I must make the best decisions I know how with what I have and I must embrace what works for me.
And realizing this I too realize that there will be doors closed in my face for my choices. There will be those who believe I am somewhat contaminated, there will be those who mock me, and I must find the ability to overcome that mentally and balance it with the doors that will open for me.
Delias Thompson / Thursday, May 21, 2009 / 5
Well, let me start by saying, anything less than yes, is pure rejection. I have had a bitter sweet year; so many wonderful situations mixed with so many frustrating ones.
This year I decided to expand into some local art festivals and shows. I was hoping to introduce my Cobblestone and Reflections line to the local market. Not everyone knows that there is a steady process one must follow to get into shows which can be fairly subjective. Art festivals tend to be juried meaning that you submit photos of your work and booth and a jury or panel reviews the work of the artists and assigns the artist a score. Depending on what your score is and how it falls in the range of other like artists you may or may not be accepted into the show. Typically you will get one of three results, Accepted, Denied, or Waitlist.
This year has been the year of the waitlist for me. Technically speaking this is not a denial but a way of letting me know that my score was not high enough to get into the show but high enough that I will be in line if another or several other artists decline to do the show. Of course, I am not a glass half full girl when I get the waitlist letter. This feels like pure rejection to me. I have been devastated and my self confidence has been shaken. The jury does not send out feedback or let you know what it is that you could have done better so you the artist are left to criticize your work, your photos, your booth, and anything else you can think of. I have been wait listed for almost every show I have applied to this year. Adding salt to the wound, I realized, this means if I had only done just a little better I might have been able to turn the denials into acceptances.
So, I don't know for sure where I missed the mark but have spent hours racking my brain. I have spent thousands of dollars revamping my booth and will now send yet another set of pieces off to be professionally photographed. The jury is a tough mistress and she expects only the best. I am hopeful that by working hard to get each and every piece just a bit better that perhaps next year I will find more success.
Not everyone knows me personally but this has been a heartbreaking experience for me. Failure. I feel like I have failed in some way..... and even when I put it kindly..... I failed to live up to some expectation, I still feel this sinking in my chest that perhaps I'm just not good enough. Pair this up with a personality that doesn't allow failure and ultimately devastation occurs and then torment as now I must figure it out. I must find the missing link and fill the void of the missing piece. I must make sure that next year is better....... I can't handle another year of rejection.
Delias Thompson / Monday, May 11, 2009 / 4
Inspiration...... I must confess that I enjoy reading what inspires artists of all mediums to create.... It's such a difficult question for me to answer directly as I believe that the inspiration to create is just an extension of who I am. It is there and the desire to see what lies in my sub-conscience as a physical entity is real. But where does such inspiration stem from? Where do I get my ideas?
Well, to be truly honest, life. My life. What I see and what I have seen creates images of how I choose to view the world. What I have experienced both good and bad drive me to find peace within my chosen medium. I find that my work is often therapeutic. There is true meaning in each piece for me. There is a story.... and it is my story, my vision, my reality. I often thought that I would be a writer of some sort growing up but find that though my story is not written in words it is still written in form. I want my work to inspire others to make each day count. I want them to see the hope and possibility we have as human beings and to find in our humanity the compassion that we often lack... to take the second of the day and appreciate it for what it is and to appreciate and value the fullness in spectrum of who we are. I want us to find the individual in the ever growing we. So this is the story I work to breathe life into and the meaning behind my pieces. So though my inspiration is not concrete.... it is what it is. It is my vision that I hope to share....
There is a part of us that is hidden within. A brighter version of ourselves that only those who truly know us can see. This small part of me is the part that I put in my work. The true optimist.... the person that I wish I could be all the time. The glass is full girl, the dreamer, the hero, the lover, the faithful..... this is the girl I know and the girl I work to build upon. The perfect me on the perfect day. This is what inspires me.... the better version of myself and the better version of the world she would imagine.
To read more stories of inspiration, check out the following blogs:
I can't help it, I love to fabricate my work with weight. I was pricing some new work recently and when I weighed this necklace was astounded to find that it weighed in at 58.6 grams. While I could recreate this piece for a lighter version.... I love the weight of it. I love to fabricate work that feels strong and durable.... pieces that will last.
I was speaking to a friend recently who too has this problem and it got me to thinking about why I create work that is so heavy and strong when I could fabricate the work much lighter with a lower selling point. I love strength.... it's so important to me in all aspects of my life. I love the strength of who I am as an individual and I love that the things I cherish will live through the chaos such as it is in my life. The things I love I use! I wear them, sit on them, drop them, use them...... they have to be things that will fit in my life as it is. I love the scratches and the dings that resemble the love I felt for them. I have never been one to purchase an item just so I could look at it. I want the things I love to be put to use in my life. This is why I cannot justify making work that is fragile no matter how much sense it makes from a business stand point..... Of course, that got me to thinking, perhaps those who purchase my work, love the weight too!
Delias Thompson / Monday, April 27, 2009 / 0
Sometimes you create something and for whatever reason you walk away from it. Sometimes it remains as one piece never to be thought of again.... and sometimes.... the piece calls you back.
The Twilight Collection has done just that. It kept nagging at the back of my mind until a friend finally convinced me it deserved a place in my permanent collection.
Twilight has always been my favorite time of day. The last streams of light falling silent and steadily, the shadows that deepen and the brightness of the street lamps just before night swallows us whole. In honor of my love for this hour when everything feels a bit more magical and all dreams become possible I decided to name this new collection, Twilight, as it too plays with light and dark balancing them both with an elegant edge.
Delias Thompson / Thursday, April 9, 2009 / 1 comments
Have you ever felt like you didn't belong? Like there was something missing? As a child I always felt like an oddity even among the oddities! It's something that has frustrated me all my life. This feeling of not really belonging. A few years ago I decided to give it my best shot. I really worked hard to say and do the right things until I felt like I wasn't even sure who I was anymore. My husband kept telling me that when I reached my thirties everything would change. That something shifts ever so slightly and you stop caring about what everyone else thinks. I guess he was right because as I move into my thirties I do find that I am more willing to embrace the best and less gracious aspects of who I am. I feel more willing to allow others to see me as I am.
This is why I decided to use the tag line just be. In a climate where everyone feels the need to blend within the group I wanted to embrace those who stand a part. Whether this be the individual hidden within or the outrageous that beats to her own drum. It is the ultimate challenge as a woman to love ourselves thoroughly and with a maturity that embraces the fullness of all the many facets. Yes, I am wild and crazy, Yes, I jump headfirst, Yes, I speak my mind without thinking, Yes, I make mistakes, Yes, I have regrets, but that is me. Full of life and breath and without these I would no longer be me so I embrace them. And as I allow myself to embrace the things I wished for many years I could change I realize the best parts of me stand taller and prouder than before because Yes, I am compassionate, Yes, I love animals, Yes, I give to those in need, Yes, I stand up for what I believe in, Yes, I help others.... and the image shifts creating a full portrait of an individual I admire.
So just be is just that. be. Be full, fearless, bold, and unapologetic for all of the many dynamic qualities that make you, you and me, me. A celebration of those unwilling to change for they know that without the valleys the peaks would not be near as high.
Delias Thompson / Tuesday, March 10, 2009 / 2
It can be a lot of fun to get involved in a group project with other artists. Etsymetal, a team of fabulous metalsmiths who sell their work on Etsy, started the charm swap amongst artists last year as a way to collect great work from other EM artists. The first charm swap was a great success and featured such amazing work that a charm bracelet was fabricated featuring all of the charms and is for sell in the Etsymetal shop.
I signed up to participate in the third charm swap on EM after I got tired of being jealous of all of the wonderful work! Each artist makes 22 charms and they are sent to one person who repackages them one for each artist and mailed back out. An extra set of charms is used for the EM charm bracelet and is listed on Etsy for sale. I have already gotten a sneak preview of some of the artists charms and I'm so excited I can hardly wait!
Delias Thompson / Wednesday, February 25, 2009 / 2
I recently had the pleasure of celebrating my 32nd birthday and I keep thinking to myself, really, 32? It's hard to imagine! Of course, the best part of turning a year older is that it means my sister is as well! The slight twinge of disappointment is always traded in for the sheer glee of giving her a harder time still.
I often look at the years as a massive map with drawn out plans for my life. Though my life rarely follows the step by step instructions I have written, it helps me to realize where I am , where I thought I would be, and where I fell short. I know it is a bit neurotic and I am trying really hard to do away with this type of thinking all together but it is a bit compulsive very much like I am.
So it is up to Theo, Kai, and Maya to remind me to celebrate my youth (however fleeting)! There is always time for a long walk in the woods, a game of fetch, an extra cookie! So here is to 32, and really, it doesn't feel that different than 31!
Delias Thompson / Sunday, February 22, 2009 / 3
Last year I went to an emerging artist program for the Buyers Market of American Craft. One of the speakers emphasized the importance artists needed to place on telling a story. I spent a lot of time thinking about this and when given the opportunity to walk the floor I saw an artist who did it in such a way that though I did not need what he was selling, I wanted one. I wanted to be a part of his story and his vision. It was igniting and I felt like I grasped what they meant.
Since coming home, i have spent a lot of time thinking about my story. Allowing the random thoughts that jumble around in my head to be sorted into cohesive sentences and thoughts. It has really helped me to strengthen my vision and has stimulated an understanding of my collection that I had not realized previously.
After developing the story for each of my lines I couldn't contain my enthusiasm in sharing it with others. I told the story to each retail gallery and became fascinated with the changes in their facial expressions as they too became caught up in the idea behind the collection. Once I gave the collections an idea and allowed everyone to share in it's roots I was able to allow them to connect on a level usually only experienced by the artist. Previously only I was allowed to experience both the tangible and intangible merits of each piece and only I was able to enjoy the spiritual side of what I had created. By sharing the story with them I felt it truly gave meaning to the concept of art jewelry for now they could appreciate both fully.
So though they call this process, telling a story, I think it is better described as sharing the story.
Delias Thompson / Tuesday, February 3, 2009 / 2
There is something about coming upon a cobblestone path that excites and enchants me. A feeling of mystery steep with historic sentiment that fills my soul. When I first visited London at 21 I became positive that if there are past lives... then I must have lived in it's cold, breathless, city. A connection. I felt in awe of the city's history and enraptured with the ancient bold and beautiful amongst the modern cold and colorful, a beautiful combination.
I feel so much like the city of London. A desire for the old and ancient, a memory long and sharp, and an awakening for all the new that has not yet emerged. A twisted personal desire to stand in both time frames at once. One foot steadily held in the wisdom of the past and one looking forward to a brave new world. An oxymoron if one exists but one I delight in.
I love the idea that I have left a footprint on the world. Everywhere I have been shares a small almost untraceable stain of my energy. I feel this energy when I walk on the surfaces of the earth. Who has come before me and what did they do? Where were they going and how did they feel? I am amazed at my own imaginations ability to construct images of a time before I. Even more striking though is walking upon a cobblestone surface. Knowing that history is etched in the footprints of those long gone but still very much alive. Have my footsteps crossed the traces of historic figures I admire? Did I gain just a bit of their energy as I passed the threshold?
Delias Thompson / Sunday, January 11, 2009 / 1 comments
Wow, what an amazing year 2008 was. I have high hopes for 2009 and I'm positive that it will bring many new challenges. I've already been working on so many new things to get geared up that I can hardly bare waiting.... giggles!
I thought it might be fun to share a few interesting things about my 2008 in perspective.
Most Played Songs on my IPOD 1. Society - Eddie Vedder 2. One of the Brightest Stars - James Blunt 3. Listen - Dreamgirls 4. Only the Good Die Young - Billy Joel 5. No Bravery - James Blunt 6. Foundations - Kate Nash 7. Stay On the Ride - Patty Griffin 8. Big Love - Fleetwood Mac 9. Crazy - James Michael Mix - AlanisMorissette 10. Benny and the Jets - Elton John
Top 5 Books of the Year: 1. Child 44- Tom Rob Smith 2. Factory Girls -Leslie T. Chang 3. Illusions - Richard Bach (I read this one every year). 4. Wicked- Gregory Maguire 5. The Bookseller of Kabul- AsneSeierstad
2008 New Years Resolutions 1. Approach galleries with my work 2. Build booth for shows and festivals 3. Add two new galleries 4. Spend more time with family 5. Learn to cook
Did I accomplish these things? Yes, I did begin approaching galleries with my work and an happy to reveal I added six new galleries this year. I added a few new recipes to the short list of things I cook and started off 2008 strong but could have done much better if I had stuck with it. I failed miserably at spending more time with family. Seems there just are not enough hours in the day....
2009 New Years Resolutions 1. Cook a new meal at least 3 nights a week with my husband with the television off, computers put away, and a good bottle of pinot. 2. Spend more quality time with my husband 3. Live in the Moment! 4. Eat more fruits and vegetables 5. Budget finances and live within a budget
Interesting... Last year all of my goals revolved around my business and this year all of my goals revolve around my family. I think I am searching for balance between the two.
Delias Thompson / Monday, January 5, 2009 / 0
be bold. be true. be brave. be playful. be inspirational. be strong. be hip. be peaceful. be artistic. be smart. be fun. be smart. be amazing. be balanced. be alive. be learned. be political. be active. be vocal. be simple. be healthy. be triumphant. be joyous. be you. be. anything. you.want.to.be.
In the studio...
Skydive.Guitar.Yoga.Take a ride in a sail boat.Plant a garden. Istanbul.Ballroom dancing.Grand Canyon.Pottery.Live overseas. Make Jam. Climb a Pyramid.Scuba.Publish a short story. Inspire someone. Get a standing ovation.Ride down a volcano. Act in a play. DC 4th of July.