Saturday, February 05, 2011

Then Again Maybe Not

hallway view
through the windows

Happy Saturday, my lovely readers. It is wonderful to see you on this bright and shining morning. I must confess, I was rather comfy in my bed and didn't rise until well after 9am. So unlike me... but so needed after last night. I know you aren't used to seeing my in this bloggy space on the weekends. But today it is warranted. I have some feelings to work through and I want to do it while the feelings are so very fresh.

As you know, last night my first First Friday event at the studio. With all the overwhelming other events of this week, on Thursday, I was thinking this event might not take place. With Jacob down and out on the couch with influenza, and my back smarting every now and then, I called Ron and asked if I should just let it go. He said, in the most husbandly fashion, "it is up to you". Not what I wanted to hear. So, I set to texting an understanding friend. My understanding friend is wonderful at leading me through a conversation in a way that helps me better know my own intention and heart. Often times, she does it with the simplest of words. She knows all too well the pressure I put on myself when it comes to doing "public" shows of my work. The simple thing she said was "... as long as you aren't waiting out of a place of fear...". The one word, fear, settled into my thoughts and I knew instantly, without a doubt, that there was no fear in my heart. I decided to just let things happen as they would and as they did, an excitement settled in.

Yesterday, I truly was so excited as I moved through the day. I bought a bouquet of balloons to draw the crowds down my hallway. I picked wine to share with friends that would visit. I tidied the studio, set up displays, made a last minute necklace, I hung silouettes that I made of the kids, and I felt really good. I felt antsy to see what the night would bring too. All the while I was checking in with myself, being present, and knowing where my heart was. No fear.

kids at the studio 1
first friday balloons 1

Then... people started arriving. Of this I have no doubt, I absolutely loved sharing my new space with my family and friends. I was so so proud to show my new creative home to them. I wish I had more time to focus and talk with them. (I also wish I could have found a couch for the studio too. It could really use some softer, cozier, spaces.) It would seem that just when one conversation would get going, new people would wander in that needed greetings and questions answered. One of the nice things about doing events like this is getting to introduce my style of lampwork glass jewelry to people that have never seen it before. It is fun to watch eyes widen at the mention of each bead being made by hand at the torch. (Yep, that torch right over there in the corner.) Many take a card and a final look around before going off to explore another studio in the building.

And then... there were the other kind of visitors. Before I tell out about the others, know this... my words aren't coming from a place of sadness or frustration or hurt. In fact, it is just the opposite. I am excited to finally know my feelings on this. I think a lot of my angst leading up to Friday came from a place of uncertainty. Now, I know and I am in a good, healthy place about it. So, read these next sentences with a tone in your mind that pictures me smiling and sort of whispering/sharing a discovered secret.

The others... well, some were down right rude and left me feeling violated. And I.did.not.like.it. I have told you before how tender I feel about my studio and protective of it. So, you can imagine how unsettling it was when people completely ignored the displays of jewelry I had out to bee-line to my work desk, pull out a strand of glass from a jar and snap it in half. Or how rattling it could be for some to walk behind my desk and feel free to touch my tools and pull rods of glass from my shelves. Some others went even further with their inconsideration, ignoring both my art and my workspace, to help themselves to free wine and snacks. Yes, they walked to my table, poured themselves a glass of red, then promptly turned and walked out. Truly... violating was the only word I could come up with to describe the sensations I was feeling in the moments when these others came into my creative home.

Monday, I will sweep and wash away the yuck left behind on the floors and tables by those others. I will return my spools of wire, pliers, and polishing pads to their rightful places on my desk. I will twirl a time or two in my tutu and I will shut my doors to those others. In my heart I know I do not want to open my studio, or myself, to them again. First Fridays are not for me... and I am at peace with that in the very best way. I really learned so much about myself last night. My family and my friends will always be welcome... and I am thinking private open houses on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon are what will be in my future. Last night, though, will not happen again. I feel stronger in knowing that resolve and eager to continue finding truths that make my heart happy.

publications to browse

34 comments:

sandi m said...

Some people!! Breaking your glass? - I would have been speechless with horror.
Glad you let go of that fear yesterday and not have wasted another month to learn about "those others".
Thanks for sharing...now go enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wiley said...

I love the idea of a by invitation only open house. I wish the "others" had just left you alone! I love your new studio and wish you nothing by success and happiness.

Karen Beth said...

WOW, the nerve of some people! That is more than rude. There isn't a word to describe those so inconsiderate. Good for you to let go of First Fridays. I wouldn't stand for people violating my space either. Private get-togethers sound like just the thing you need. Hope you feel better. Spoil yourself rotten!

Jane Perala said...

I always find it amazing just how rude and insensitive some people can be - makes you wonder what kind of upbringing they had. Anyway, glad to hear that most of the people were considerate, and enjoyed themselves in your new and wonderful studio.

Spirited Earth said...

There's nothing like an experience to clarify what you want and need..i think you've arrived at a perfect understanding on those Open studio nights which are so often just an eating drinking free for all. your idea of by invitation studio showings is so much nicer to my way of thinking.
just an aside( and perhaps not relevant)at Coop sales we would hang a little drap over our "not to be disturbed" shelving and tools cause people are sometimes just too curious.

Anonymous said...

So sorry Kerry that you had that happen last night - we must have been ahead of that crowd. I loved your space and thought how lucky you were to be in such a cool buidling - of course my husband tells me I always have my rose colored glasses on.
Marcia

For My Sweet Daughter said...

Been there myself a time or 2. I own a salon and people are constantly sitting behind my work table and going through my drawers. Some have even stole from me, in front of me!
Let it go, brush off the bad juju and twirl and twirl till the sillies come back out.
I am so glad you had fun with your friends, I hope it was a successful evening!
Shannon

BeaderBubbe said...

There is a quote that says something like this...."People cant hurt you unless you let them." I think you handled it very well and this one incident should not stop you from doing what you want - whether its another studio event or something different. Good luck...and enjoy what you love.

Sabine said...

We used to live in a neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, that had a Saturday gallery hop. It was sort of a grazing fest for the masses. Now I know what the gallery owners must have felt.

It is very healthy of you to be able to see it for what it is and how you want to deal with it. Go you!

Ann
mycriticaleye.com

Laura Twiford said...

I am speechless over the type of "others" you encountered. I know from experience with our restaurant how inconsiderate people can be in your space, doing things they would never dream of doing in their own home, But i kinda thought an open studio tour would bring about a different mindset. i guess the "others" are everywhere! Good for you for deciding to look out for yourself and your space!

Janet said...

Its amazing how people think they are entitled, and dont give it a thought. We were raised just not to mess with peoples things. Break your glass wow. Maybe put a small sigh to say (with flowers around it) plz dont touch the Glass. I think with a shop you will see it all in time to come, but hopefully not. The "Public" is not easy. Soldier on and rejoice!

Stereoette said...

I am horrified at the very thought of what happened to you. Absolutely horrified! I am totally jealous of your new studio but even more dismayed because you are such an upbeat and positive person - I consider your blog a blessing and I don't even know you personally.

Please don't let this bad experience keep you from opening your studio to strangers. Perhaps in the future you could only allow people in to watch you do demonstrations, or post someone as "bartender" so the jerks don't come in and self serve themselves. I can't believe that people would disrespect your property and your space that way, but don't let them get you down!

Christine said...

Horrifying! Although I can imagine the freeloaders, grabbing a glass of wine and some snacks, I would have been ridiculously furious at someone intentionally breaking a rod of glass or touching my tools and supplies in any way! People just don't know how to act. I am sorry that the gallery nights won't work out for you, but better knowing that than subjecting yourself to that insane treatment again and again. Yikes!

Glad you enjoyed the enjoyable parts, though! :)

Anonymous said...

As a fellow artist in the building I too feel your inner pain. I found after a year of First Friday's that sometimes you just need to take a different view of it all. Sales are few and far between but I get the most enjoyment out of the camaraderie, the questions about the art, and the fact that SOME visitors are ACTUALLY interested in what you do. The marketing aspect can be far reaching. However there will ALWAYS be those who are just looking for something to do on a Friday night and relish in partaking of the free food and drink (we lovingly call them the 'art sluts'!) I probably should have warned you about them ahead of time. We know who they are and we see them just about every First Friday no matter where you are that night! Those folks really don't get it. A few have surprised me however by resounding with great wisdom and observance IF they are asked direct questions. There are also some who have no respect for boundaries, physical or emotional. That is a more difficult aspect to deal with each time. I feel terrible that your materials were damaged and that you experienced rudeness. If you were ever to do it again I would strongly suggest trying to have some additional support in the studio as it is extremely difficult for one person to please everyone yet keep an eye on everyone. It would be very difficult for me to be watchful, congenial, helpful, etc in my studio without that extra help. We will chat on Monday my friend!

Mellisa said...

All I can think is that some people have clearly been raised by wolves...actually wolves might do a better job...

I think your by invitation events will be a lovely and positive experience and I'm so glad that you were able to just let that bad juju from those visitors get swept out the door.

Roberta said...

I know what you are talking about. I no longer do open studios. It just isn't worth it. That is horrid what happened to you. Breaking things. That is unbelievable. It really is. The food thing is quite common. Some people only come for the free food. Bah. Sorry you had to go through this.

Holly said...

so sorry that you had that happen! people can be awful sometimes. the good thing is that you learned something and you gave yourself permission to do what feels right to you.

i still love your space!

Lori Bowring Michaud said...

How awful, but good for you for realizing your limits and setting new boundaries.

Jen V. said...

So glad you were able to take the craziness and come to a good decision. It' YOUR space and you can choose who to share it with! I'll be honest, though, I hope someday I can come for a visit and spend time working with you...I will bring my tutu and my own wine. I'll definitely need balloons, though. haaaaaaaaaaa

Carol B said...

I'm aghast that someone would pull out a glass rod and break it. If you every think about doing another FF show, it would be fun to cordon off the work table and glass area with velveteen theater-style ropes and a fun, eye-level "PRIVATE" sign. :)

Lucas said...

I was shocked when that guy pulled out the glass rod and was twirling it around. And then snapped it. "Oops, sorry" was his recognition that he was an idiot. I wanted to ask him why he didn't know NOT to touch things if they don't belong to you, especially if they're breakable! I was also tempted to say, "you break it you buy it". I hope the bad didn't outweigh the good, and we had a great time visiting!

Kerry said...

thanks so much for your comments. you are all loved and i so appreciate you getting fired up on my behalf. you rock. and really no need to feel bad for me... it is all good. i am actually feeling kinda proud of myself for coming to a better understanding of what i want and don't want.

@lucas - the good DID outweigh the bad!! and having the four of you visit was one of the highlights of my evening :) thanks

Kell said...

Wow, I didn't know people like that really existed. I would never think of walking into someone's space (whether it is their home, work, or other place) and touching something. I'm so sorry they defiled your sacred space like that!

I only know you from the blog world, but I'm very proud of you for learning and growing from what must have been a horrific experience. Keep up what you do. You are a talented, creative, and original artist and you have lots of fans out here... even if some of us are quiet fans most of the time.

Kell

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you! You tried it and know in your heart that you are making the right decision for you!
No regrets, i say!
The studio is awesome!
Kim (Texas)

Heather Powers said...

I'm amazed at your grace and thoughtfulness after being treated so rudely. You are an inspiration. Enjoy every moment in your lovely new space.

Barbara Bechtel said...

wow! all I can tell you right now is I've been thinking about this post ever since I read it yesterday.

I think you've taken the most valuable lesson away. To understand what you want and don't want!

I think a once or twice a year open studio is a wonderful idea and/or maybe participate on a limited basis for the larger ones and follow some suggestions here like roping off your worktables etc. to keep the nosy hands off....and hide the wine for friends/colleagues ;)

Cindy said...

Kerry, I know it was such a learning experience - for the good and bad. You would have never known had you not tried it once. Now moving forward you can make your open studio night what you want and invite who you want!! It will only get better! :-)

Heather Behrendt said...

That really sucks that you had to deal with inconsiderate dopes.

I wanted to stop by since I've never met any local lampworkers, but I got scared away by the yucky weather.

I would have kicked some ass for you :) They wouldn't have known what hit them.

Brandi said...

That is not unlike a college art show. I've been there, and I'm sorry you had to experience it! The nerve of some people.

I'm with you, that would be my last open house, too.

Leslie Gidden said...

Did you hear my audible gasp over here????? What the....??? WOW! You are a MUCH better person than I am! Breaking your glass in half....why those....ack!

Now I gotta go cool off! :) Thanks for sharing Kerry and I am so sorry you had to endure that!

Warmly,
Leslie

mairedodd said...

i am glad that you had your first friday - and last... you learned a lot... and i hope truly that you mean what you say about being ok with those others...people are strange, kerry - we can never know what is going on inside another's head (or know where they obtained their lack of manners)... it was not about you...
xo

artandtea said...

Kerry, thanks for sharing your story and what's in your heart. You are truly an inspiration in your ability to find the positive and the teaching in a challenging situation.

Shabby chic furniture said...

It's a good idea for you to first Monday. Is not ready for humans, or distortion of my space. Private get togethers sound having exactly what you. We hope you feel better.

nose surgery said...

i think you have arrived at an ideal understanding on those Open studio nights which are so often an eating drinking free for all. your idea of by invitation studio showings is a lot nicer to my way of thinking.