Have you ever thought about entering any of your work into a show? It can be a scary thing, allowing others to look at and judge your work that you have put countless hours into, frogging and redoing until it is perfect. Up until a few years ago, I hadn’t ever entered anything into a show. I had thought about it but had never been brave enough to investigate how to go about it. And then I made my Sophie’s Universe and I felt that that was a piece that just had to be seen. Not because of my work but because the design is just so beautiful. So, I found out how to enter the Royal Adelaide Show (our big state fair) and entered her. She didn’t win, but I got some ribbons for some other pieces and my addiction to entering shows began. I love it! I love thinking about what to enter and looking for new, amazing designs to crochet. I love delivering my pieces before the show has begun and seeing everything getting ready. I love going to the show and looking at my work on display. And, I love the expectation of waiting to see what the results are and if I earned a ribbon!
Last year, I entered both the Royal Adelaide Show and the Gawler Show (a smaller, country show). The experience is very different with both shows. The entry fees are higher for the Adelaide show, and so far, I haven’t won a first prize, which is the only real way of recovering your costs. The Gawler show is smaller, but the entry fees are lower and so far, I have covered my costs of entering with my winnings, which makes it feel a bit more successful!
This year, due to me not paying close enough attention to the Adelaide show book, I only entered pieces in the Gawler show. The staff at the show were absolutely fabulous as I realised I was going to be in Melbourne when I needed to drop things off and they were great about me dropping them off early. As we literally swung past the show to collect my pieces on our way home from Melbourne, I had to wait until then to find out my results (one of my friends sent me pics of a couple of my results while we were away, but not all!). It was exciting to collect them and find out that I had done really well this year! Out of the six pieces entered, I earned 4 firsts, one second and a best exhibit for crochet (that I was totally not expecting!). The prize from the best exhibit has allowed me to order some blocking wires that I have been eyeing off for awhile! (Another review will be coming soon!). I even won a trophy this year, as my Persian Tiles blanket came tied for first with another Persian Tiles blanket that the judges just couldn’t choose between!
If you have ever thought about it, but not had the confidence, I would suggest just going for it! The worst that can happen is that you won’t win anything, and, although it is disappointing (I put hours into the baby pram cover and it didn’t place at all 😦 ), it is still a growing and learning experience, challenging you to find more unique and detailled pieces for next years’ show and to improve the quality and finish of your work. I’d love to hear about your experiences entering shows!