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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The New York International Gift Fair 2010

Last week I went to check out the New York International Gift Fair, a huge trade show held twice a year at the Javits Center.  My primary purpose was to see what's out there as far as jewelry and other gift products, make some connections with buyers interested in wholesaling my jewelry line, and just take in the show itself which is quite awesome!  There were so many wonderful artists!  Spent a lot of time in the Handmade Design section, which was new this year...many handmade artisans gathered in a large newly renovated part of Javits North.  As I reported in an earlier post, this year marked the 25th Anniversary of Handmade Design so it was very exciting to be a part of that!

Here's a small sampling of some of the interesting artisans that I met at the show!

GeoArt by Cynthia Gale

Had the pleasure of speaking with Cynthia and her lovely assistant and talked first hand with them both about the process behind the gorgeous handcrafted sterling silver jewelry designs!  Her enthusiasm for art, culture, and the work she is involved in was contagious!  In the artisan's own words:  "Our signature collections include licensing partnerships with over fifteen of the nation’s top museums and cultural institutions and the GeoArt by Cynthia Gale line has evolved from ideas reflecting the rich cultural diversity of New York City and Cynthia’s passion for it. The GeoArt philosophy is simple: to create exquisite, quality sterling silver jewelry designs inspired by art and the world around us."

 Silver Spoon Jewelry
Jennifer Northup, founder of Silver Spoon Jewelry, has always had a lifelong fascination with antiques and vintage jewelry. Following the inheritance of her great grandmother's silverware collection, Jennifer and her husband Daniel were inspired to design a line of jewelry and accessories based on heirloom patterns from the late 1800s to early 1900s.  Silver Spoon Jewelry can be found in gift stores, galleries and boutiques throughout the United States and in several countries around the world. This unique line continues to bring the elegance of the past to our modern times.
I didn't get to meet Jen but talked with her very proud dad about her process and it is amazing the full line of gorgeous jewelry she has created using these gorgeous silver spoons!!
I really loved this booth!  Although I didn't meet Jim and Tori, I heard their story and you can read it more in detail on their website!  The met in the mid eighties and shared the same interest in old watches, jewelry and antiques.  Their work is a little bit steampunk because of their combined passions.  They sell jewelry, song birds, mirrors, and boxes and all their designs have a wonderful old world feel to them!  They have a fully downloadable catalog and there's a list on their site for all the locations you can find their items!
Jamie Harris Studio
I was totally in awe of this talented glass artist!  His work was nothing short of spectacular!  In the artist's own words: "I am a glass artist and designer living in New York City. A graduate of Brown University, I have studied at some of the most prestigious glass schools in the country: The Pilchuck Glass School, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Penland School of Crafts, the Haystack School, and the Corning Museum of Glass. I have also studied with many of the most renowned glass artists in the world, including Dante Marioni, Josiah McElheny, Benjamin Moore, Kathy Eliot and Ben Edols.  My work has long been distinguished by my unique and painterly use of color and design. My sculpture has been widely praised, and is carried by a select group of exclusive galleries. My line of exclusive tabletop items brings my unique sense of design to the marketplace, and is available worldwide at select stores."

Solmate Socks
This Vermont based company make all their products domestically, from spinning to dyeing to knitting.  Solmate socks are knit from recycled cotton yarns, which are created by grinding down and re-spinning scraps from the production of other cotton products, mainly t-shirts.  The varied color palettes of Solmate socks are inspired by and named for aspects of their surrounding Vermont landscape, e.g. Daffodil, Covered Bridges, and October Morning. The left and right socks share the same color scheme but never match.  Solmate's motto: "Life is too short for matching socks."

And there was so, so, so much more!!  Candles, soap, bath products, leather, handbags...the list goes on and on!  I'll have to show you some more as time goes on!

I came home with renewed spirit in the handmade industry because everyone I met was as warm and generous as all the people I've met through Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, and social communities.  And it gave me a renewed sense of pride in all of us hardworking individuals who put our heads down, work hard, and create!

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    I am an MBA Jewelry Artisan and owner of Zur Designs.  I create handcrafted jewelry using only the highest quality materials such as sterling silver,semi-precious gemstones, swarovski crystals, and pearls.

    My designs are inspired by life, love, and the beauty that surrounds me from the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts to the wonderful beaches in Rhode Island...both I consider my home.