SNAG Conference 2013 Highlights (Part 2)

Here is Part 2 of my highlights from SNAG 2013:

Professional Development Seminar: Sacred Cow, Purple Cow, Cash Cow

This seminar was all about how to stand out in the jewelry market. The theme of the seminar, how to become a “purple cow” was inspired by marketing entrepreneur Seth Godin, author of the top-selling book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable.

There were four speakers who each gave a short presentation on a range of topics relating to innovative marketing strategies for contemporary craft. Topics included

-Exploring the experiential economy (engaging audience in the creative process)

-Use of alternative (and unexpected) exhibition and commercial spaces

-New trends in media technology (web optimization, use of apps)

-Effective documentation via photography and video

-Tapping in to the fashion industry

The seminar was very informative, and provided well-rounded insight into the world of marketing. Of all the speakers, I was most inspired by an excellent segment on effective photo/video documentation delivered by artist Rachel Timmins. She emphasized the importance of knowing the focal point of your photos, and establishing a “mood” that supports the intent of your work. The concepts she discussed in her presentation were made clear by strong support photos/videos of her incredible work.


Jennie Lee 2012 by Rachel Timmins
Image courtesy

Gallery Crawl

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, the first ever Toronto International Jewelry Festival (TIJF) was launched in conjunction with SNAG 2013, bringing about a large stream of jewelry/metalsmithing exhibitions throughout the city. Some exhibitions ran only throughout the duration of the conference, however, there are many exhibitions still up! Take a peak at the TIJF exhibition schedule to see what you can still catch.

Gardiner Museum:

A Bit of Clay on the Skin: New Ceramic Jewellery

A Bit of Clay on the Skin: New Ceramic Jewellery was one of my favorite exhibitions. It features 140 works by 20 artists from around the world who have explored ceramics as a medium for contemporary jewellery. I loved this collection of work because it really pushed the definition of both ceramic and jewelry arts in their traditional context. The merging of disciplines encourages an interesting dialogue that investigates contemporary craft in today’s culture.


Girandole-Mokume #1 by Shu-Lin Wu
Earring- porcelain,silver, 2010.
Image courtesy

18 Karat:


 Ferrous was a showcase of jewelry that made from ferrous elements such as iron, steel, and stainless steel. The designs varied greatly from fine jewelry to more sculptural and conceptual works. Although ferrous materials have been used to make jewelry for thousands of years, it was great to see them being utilized in a more contemporary context.

Trunk Show Sale

On the last day of the conference, I participated as a vendor at SNAG’s annual Trunk Show- a 2 ½ hour show and sale of jewelry and metalwork by over 60 artists from North America. This was a great experience for me, as it was my opportunity to sell work at a show. The event was open not only to conference attendees, but also to the public, so it was quite busy! Selling work at a show like this was such a great way to meet other artists, and get feedback on my work- a wonderful learning experience!


My table at the Trunk Show


I made a line of earrings and a few brooches based off of my larger neckpieces:

IMG_0848IMG_0853 IMG_0851IMG_0883

NSCADers Unite!

I cannot neglect to mention that one of the biggest highlights of my SNAG conference experience was reuniting with many of my fellow classmates and Profs from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. It has been a year now since I graduated from the NSCAD with my BFA, and it was so energizing to catch up with people I had worked and grown with for many years. There was quite a strong NSCAD alumnae representation at the conference- a group photo was taken at one point and there must have been about 30 of us! Living in Toronto this past year has been amazing, but Nova Scotia will always be home for me.

It seemed a funny coincidence that there was a tourism campaign running throughout the duration of the conference while many Nova Scotians were in town; my Maritimer studio mate and I discovered this on a busy Toronto street corner while on the gallery crawl! : )


All in all, SNAG 2013 was pretty great. I hope someday I will be able to attend another SNAG conference!



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