Debra Carus, a jewelry designer and a 2nd year Portland Open Studios artist, had this to say about her experience this year:

A Gratifying, Humbling, and Touching Experience
by Debra Carus

This is my 2nd year as a Portland Open Studios artist. I absolutely loved this opportunity to show people the “life and process” of being an artist. People were so amazingly interested in how you do your work—what inspires you to create your work and to just soak up the experience—so it’s incredibly gratifying as the artist.

I highly recommend to anyone who is considering applying to be very clear about your goals. What do you want to share, what can you show people about your work and how you create it, and what are you giving people when they take the time to come visit you? My goals are to share and educate, so I have display boards with the process I use in clear evidence. I also have sample pieces in varying stages from design to completion. I also demonstrate what I’m creating. If I just sat and expected people to ask me lots of questions, it wouldn’t happen. People need to have a focal point of your studio. Displays give them a comfortable place to start a conversation with you. Also, I try not to make my goal about gaining customers…They are not just customers to me, they are potential artists and students, and they are also people who are hungry for art in their lives. They often tell me they “aren’t creative, but wish they were,” and they are so happy to meet artists whom they admire. I never thought I’d be one of those…it’s humbling and very touching to be told how your work is appreciated. WOWWEE.

debracarus

Above, Pearl Romance, by Debra Carus. Fine silver hollow pendant with recessed center pink pearl. Design features celtic knot pattern. Wireworked handmade chain with freshwater button pearls.

See more of Debra’s work on her web site at http://www.elentari-handverk.com

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