As I sit freezing to death on a small airplane that has sat motionless on a stormy runway for one (scorethrough) two hours, I wonder if this relatively new lifestyle of the ‘artist as Wandering Gypsy’ is really more comfortable for myself and those that work with me.
Doing mostly outdoor retail shows for the majority of my 22 years as an independent jeweler, I had seen the full range of what the elements are capable of. Sheer winds that lift and toss an elaborately staked down canopy like a toy. Desert like heat with rainforest humidity that we managed only by standing in dishpans of ice to keep from internally cooking. Unexpected snow, hail and rain, always rain – for twenty two years, never a season without at the potential of at least one show destroyed due to a rain out. All these obstacles seemed like good enough reasons to move indoors where the climate is predictable and the creature comforts are more upscale.
I began by applying to the most prestigious retail shows around the country. It began as an immediate improvement gambling with the elements. It was fun to travel to a new city by air rather than a long drive in a fully packed car. A quiet hotel room was a break from the hectic studio pace. And the clothes were nearly the best part! Wearing clothes made in fabrics that didn’t have the word ‘gortex’ on the tags. New shoes for the consummate shoe-aholic that looked nothing like the ‘Welle’ garden boots that were the uniform for the soggy outdoor shows. I was having the time of my life…..