Having become more comfortable with visiting London on my own after attending New Designers then New Designers “One Year On” I applied for a HI-Arts travel bursary to visit Goldsmiths Fair 2011 – “the most important, prestigious event of its kind in Europe”. It was a fantastic event with a great mix of jewellery styles and silversmithing, enough variation over the two weeks to draw me in to almost every one of the 180 displays. I was so overwhelmed by the place and the fantastic atmosphere that I decided then and there that this was going to be my next big goal in life – to get in to Goldsmiths Fair.
Goldsmiths Fair is one of the few shows to offer a realistic package for recent graduates, you can apply within 5 years of graduating, you get a free stand, a bursary and a zero interest bullion loan. So far I have only seen other shows offer a reduced rate for a stand. When your starting out the investment needed for just producing enough stock for a show is daunting! I applied for this package for the 2012 show with little hope of getting in but with the realisation that I had 4 more attempts to try and get in. I was inevitably un-successful.
I applied for their Who’s Who in Gold and Silver web directory early in 2013 and though they sent me a very encouraging and complementary letter I was un-successful in getting approved for the listing. Having just been rejected for this I knew there was no chance they would approve me for Goldsmiths Fair 2013 with the same images in the application, but I decided to put one in anyway so that they could see I was still interested and would be on record for the following year as having applied the previous two years.
Late last week I got the Goldsmiths marked envelope, it was a bit heavier than the year before but I just assumed they had changed the format of their response. I tore it open in my usual manner as I walked back up to the cabin, another package tucked under my arm, I skimmed down looking for “we regret…” or “sorry” or any other negative confirmation. Then I carefully read it again, not quite believing that they had missed out the rejection part, surely they wouldn’t disguise it in the letter somewhere, using big complicated words in an attempt to ease the blow. I double checked that it was indeed my name on the top of the letter. Re-read it again. I had got in. I picked up the phone to call my husband and then put the phone down just so I could check and be doubly sure that I wasn’t making some horrible delusional mistake. I hadn’t been mistaken, I had been accepted!
Just then the fish van arrived blaring its horn us it revved up the driveway, I ran down and couldn’t stop grinning as I ordered some hot smoked salmon, fresh crab and dabs, the fishmonger had the courtesy to ask me if I was celebrating as the total stacked up and I quickly told him, he was already running half an hour late so didn’t want to hold him up with the details but he got the gist.
My next goal is to start making a living from my business and be able to attend a couple of shows a year under my own steam.