NVHG is a well respected organization that was established in 1972. I joined in January of this year, but the weather, aka snow and ice, kept me from driving the hour trip to any meetings. Last month was my first meeting and I loved it. They are so well organized and offer a wealth of information. Ever member is expected to participate in the organization, either with volunteering time for the business of running the organization and/or helping with the many non-profit community service activities. You can check out their web site for the details, but in brief, they support; 1) Alternative House, a shelter, 2) Meals on Wheels, 3) scholarships to high schools students, and 4) an organization to support children in need (sorry, I don't have that name). The internal business volunteer areas include, 1) being an active member of the board, 2) marketing and advertising, 3) chairing and support for the 3 art and artisan fairs that NVHG sponsors, 4) member of the the Standards committee, 5) Hospitality committee and the list goes on. I think you get the picture.
One of the bracelets submitted for jury and SOLD to a jury member
I originally joined to be able to participate in their art and artisan fairs. I have found out that it is a long, and detailed process, that includes, 1) being a juried member, and 2) how much work and time a member donates to NVGH and then the vendor spots are by seniority. Which means, I might not be eligible to participate this year in any of the 2014 fairs. (I have submitted my vendor payments and applications and I'll let you know later if I have been accepted this year. Fingers crossed!) However, now that I have attended 2 meetings I am hooked on all of the wonderful members and the support. The meeting takes place monthly in Falls Church, VA and that means I need to drive over an hour in rush hour. That part is a real pain, but the drive home has little traffic, so it's about an hour and a whole lot easier without all of those folks wanted to get home from work.
One of the pair of earrings submitted for jury
The jury process is well run, with many mandates. All of the protocols are on their web page. I won't bore you with those details, but the short version is as an artist or artisan you need to have your act together. For a jeweler they require a lot more pieces of completed work., as a result I took my rolling jewelry cart, with several trays of completed pieces, 6 earrings, 7 gemstone pendants, 7 bracelets and 6 full necklaces.
One of the pendants submitted for jury
I have participated in several juried shows, but I must say that NVHG is the most detailed and true juries that I have participated in so far. I arrived and took a seat and waited to be called. In the jury room I was greeted by the 5 member team of the NVHG Standards committee. I presented my work and was asked to talk about my process. All the while the members were picking up and examined my work. I was thrilled by the wonderful comments. I do believe I was blushing. Then I was asked to leave the room while they discussed my jewelry in private. After a few minutes I was called back into the room and told that I had passed and I was even given a copy of the review paperwork. So doggone professional. Love it! To top it off one of the members actually bought a bracelet right there! Go figure! I didn't know how to react. I usually have my act together, but I became very flustered and the Standards Chairman said 'Do you take credit cards?" So out came my smart phone and a bracelet was sold. And yes, I did apply a discount. Then another member of the Standards committee has commissioned a sterling silver bracelet from me. Blush!
All in all, the stress was unnecessary, as most stress is.
One of the necklaces submitted to jury
Thank you for sticking with this blog post, as it's a tad long.
Have a joy filled and creative day!