Sieraad took place in an interesting old building called the Gashouder. It had a really cool interior ceiling but it also had cement floors. Not so great for standing on for hours at a time. Everyone's feet were pretty much done halfway through Day 3.
Our overall booth layout was pretty cool. I was right smack dab in the middle, where I had a little wall space and a little table space. I think we were one of the largest booths at the fair, and we had a pile of work to show off. It was an interesting experience to be standing by the work and having people talk about it in a language you can't understand. Most of it sounded positive, but I'm sure not all of it was. I had a woman with a sour look on her face point a finger at one of my necklaces and shake her head "no". Some communication reads loud and clear, regardless of language barriers.
We had a lot of people come through the booth, and most of them were very nice. I didn't make many sales, but I did have a lot of people pick up business cards. I said many of the same things over and over again, and after a while everyone started to look familiar and I worried if I was repeating myself to people who had already come through the booth once before. I'll admit, I was physically and mentally exhausted nearly the entire time, so I wasn't at my best.
Everything packed up at the end of the show.
There was tons of great work at this show and many talented artists. I *think* I got to see everything at least once, but I'm not 100% sure that I did. It was a smaller show, I think compared to ACC, but there was still plenty to see. There were three European Design/Jewelry schools, all with fantastic work, which made it a bit difficult to return to my community college teaching job. . .
All in all, I'm glad I had this experience, but I don't think these sorts of shows are for me. I sort of already knew that going in, but I was interested in how things were done in Europe, and now I can more definitively say that the whole production/show circuit isn't for me. I keep coming back to the fact that I'm an Academic, whether I like it or not. And while a certain amount of day teaching is spent standing around on a cement floor, saying the same thing over and over again, it doesn't feel quite the same. And while I think it is possible to pursue both (many of us there taught in addition to our studio/production practice) it just doesn't seem to suit me. At least for right now.
My experience at Sieraad has had other, broader implications on the future direction of my work/life, which I'll cover in a future post.