Up until late 2019 I made jewelry in my home studio in Richland, Washington near the Columbia River shoreline. One of my favorite shows of the year was the Allied Arts ‘Art in the Park’ held in late July every year in Howard Amon Park along the Columbia River. Held the same weekend as the Tri City Water Follies (think grown up kids playing with boats that go 200 miles per hour while fans get drunk and sunburned), Art in the Park is a nice show with about 250 artist’s booths under big mature shade trees right next to the river. The shade is important – as is the proximity to the river – because it is often over 100 F in that area in late July. I’m getting off track – but felt the need to set the scene. The last time I did the Art in the Park show was in late July 2019. While sweltering in my booth late in the afternoon I had two lovely blond young women show up to look at my work. They were so sweet. They had questions about the process and exulted over several of the larger one-of-a-kind pieces. Taylor and Anna were so genuinely interested and inquisitive. They looked at everything, touched everything, had questions about everything. All, very politely of course. Cast botanicals want to be touched. Cast botanicals like to be the focus of inquiry and curiosity. The girls, quite obviously sisters, wanted to buy my jewelry. It seemed their taste in wearable art was weightier than their wallets. After looking at so many pieces and getting answers to their questions, they left. And came back. And left. Then came back again and purchased a sedum charm necklace. They were the kind of customers that made you want to just give it all away.
Anna and Taylor look through the bowl of small charms at the Art in the Park show in Richland Washington on July 27, 2019.
The next weekend we did the Anacortes Art Festival show and bought a house in Port Townsend while we were in the area. We'd been thinking of moving anyway - and decided - 'why not take the plunge'. Shortly after moving I noticed that Taylor had started following me on Instagram. I checked out her Instagram and saw that she was a great photographer. I liked seeing what she was up to and admired her eye as a photographer. Being a professional jeweler kind of hinges on being able to sell your work. Work sells better if prospective customers can see the work in good photos (this is especially true in these pandemic years – when a lot more seeing/buying has been forced to move to online platforms). I’m always on the lookout for models who I can photograph wearing my work – to compliment the studio photos I use on my website, etc… So, when I was heading over to the Tri Cities area for a trunk show at my good friend Deb Watkin’s studio in Kennewick this past fall (2021), I messaged Taylor to see if she and her sister would like to model and photograph some of my work in exchange for jewelry while I was in the area. They were up for it and we met so I could give her the work and talk through the types of shots that I typically use. Off the sisters went to model my jewelry on a sunny fall day along the Columbia River. They got some great shots (see below) and obviously had some fun doing it. What a couple of lovely ladies. How can you look at that selfie of the two of them at the top and not smile? I am grateful for all of my ‘fans’ and these two will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you, Taylor and Anna.