Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday inspiration

Design using the labyrinth from the floor of Chartres. Good for contemplating.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mixing media

Originally uploaded by Zoeowyn

I saw this beautiful wire wrapped pendent in a magazine.
It was the only project in the magazine, and frankly I didn't think it was work $7.
With much hubris I sketched the swirl patterns from memory at a random later time, knowing that putting this little wire design together would be a no brainer.

--insert ugly buzzer sound indicating I am wrong--

What I had not anticipated was the need for correct assembly order.
That took some time to figure out. I had to wrap, cut apart and rewrap several times before I figured assembly order out.
Next time I am purchasing the magazine.

So I took this spiral design and then began playing with it in polymer clay. My first incarnation was a direct translation as if the clay were wire. Then I began playing with it further.

I tried squaring it off, but the design was less Mayan than I anticipated. Maybe once I go back over it with carving tools, since I plan on having it look like carved turquoise.

Another option, that turned out rather entertaining is the tentacle version. This is another development jump off point.

I find it interesting how design ideas emerge and are influenced by techniques, and influenced by the process; especially if you allow yourself to explore the "hey what if I did it this way next" thoughts you have as you work.

I started playing with this design in clay first. The clay as wire design. Thats when I realized I should take this design evolution thru the proper steps, and make the wire wrap design. After that I felt a better understanding of the design, and assembly issues, and was able to "run with it."

The creative process is like a tree, with the changes branching off as they take shape in my head.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tech testing again

Ok, Im tech testing again.
Some how this evening my last 4 posts appeared on facebook. It looks like it only took the last 4, and not the last 24 (this is good).

test blog post 6:19 PM 6/23/10

Yes it does matter, even if it is just the back.

Michelangelo's David
Back detail.

Yes, another classic butt. Really Im just making the point that there is a reason ancient Greek art, and creations by Michelangelo are master pieces. The detail, the fact that its the back, and originally was not going to be in a position where the back would not be viewed with any regularity. But the quality of work was not "let go" simply because of the location.

Something that I need to work on for my own work.

Wednesday inspiration

Ok, yes its a butt. Its fairly nice one at that.
Its one of my favorite bronze backsides of all time.
Yes bronze. Not bronzed.

This is the back side from one of the fabulous Riace Bronze warriors.
Life size ancient Greek statues.

They are fabulous, and the level of detail is astounding.

So why show the butt? Yes its a nice butt, but why the butt?

Because of the continual attention to detail on all parts of this statue. Because the back side of this work of art was not ignored.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Time to put down the pulp fiction and pick up some learning.

After yesterday's pondering I realized I cannot get clear on a few things without answers to certain questions.
Problem is Im not exactly certain what those questions are.
And once I have a list of questions, am I asking the right questions?

I'm still working on my list of questions. In the mean time I was wondering where am I going to find the answers that I need?
The internet is a vast resource, but its not every thing.

Books are super, but can get quite pricey. So I checked with the local library. We are fortunate in that we have access to a city wide library system, of a not too small city. We can check the entire catalog online, and request books to be sent to our library for pick up. Not all library systems are this easy, this user friendly, or this large.

I started looking at "selling crafts" as my subject, this lead me to more specific key words. This lead me to the key words the library and book cataloging people use.

Key words:
Handicraft industries -- Management
Handicraft -- Marketing
Selling -- Handicraft

From just a few words I have quite a reading list!
I'm including my list here. I can have easy access to it, and it might help someone else who is looking for this type of info.

The basic guide to selling arts & crafts
Dillehay, James
Torreon, N.M. : Warm Snow Publishers, c1994

Crafting as a business
Rosen, Wendy W
Baltimore, MD : Rosen Group, 1994

Crafts and craft shows : how to make money
Kadubec, Phil
New York : Allworth Press, c2000

The crafts business answer book & resource guide : answers to hundreds of troublesome questions abou
Brabec, Barbara
New York : M. Evans and Co., 1998

The crafts business answer book : starting, managing, and marketing a home-based art, crafts, design
Brabec, Barbara
New York : M. Evans & Co., 2006

Creative cash : how to profit from your special artistry, creativity, hand skills, and related know-
Brabec, Barbara
Rocklin, Calif. : Prima Pub., c1998

How to sell what you make : the business of marketing crafts
Gerhards, Paul
Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, c1996

Crafters' internet handbook : research, connect and sell your crafts online
Crabe, GeneviƩve
Cincinnati, OH : Muska & Lipman, c2002

Handmade for profit : hundreds of secrets to success in selling arts & crafts
Brabec, Barbara
New York : M. Evans and Company, 1996

The crafter's guide to pricing your work
Ramsey, Dan
Cincinnati, OH : Betterway Books, 1997

Entrepreneur magazine's start up : start your own crafts business : your step-by-step guide to succe
Lynn, Jacquelyn
Irvine, CA : Entrepreneur Press, c2004

The Craft register : directory of arts & crafts shows, fairs and other events

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finding your market: HOW?

Warning this is not advice!
This is my current quest.

How do I find my target audience, how do I find my base product?

As soon as I *think* I may have found my target audience, and I pursue them, and I make sure that I have appropriate product for them, they are no longer my target audience.
So what happened?
I have some random encounter with a small pod of people who really love my work. They love it so much they actually purchase it. And then they are done with me.
I have very few repeat customers.

So, how do I deal with this, how do I get past this?
I do not want to be a one hit wonder.

Every year I attempt to add something to my line of creations. Based on how sales are, that item either goes bye-bye, or I continue to make them.
Sugar skulls:
I had great success with these for 2 years. Then nothing. No purchases for 3 years. Other than to use up the stock of ceramic bases for larger candle holder skulls, I no longer consider making these.
Dragon bottles:
The first 10 of these I made sold within minutes. Actually they sold out at their first 2 shows. I even earned a few commissions. Now....I have made a total of 3 batches (6 to 10 at a time), I still have more than half of the last batch.

I hit a high note with pirate stuff, then fizzle. (Yes, I know this one was really very much influenced by the Pirate movies, and cannot wait for the next one to be made and released, so I can sell some of this pirate stuff!)

I do not sell earrings. They are amazingly loved when I gift them, but they do not sell. I no longer make earrings, and have even begun taking some apart to incorporate into other projects.

I used to sell via a friend who sells her own stuff in CA. I fully understand she has enough product that she needs to sell just her own stuff. But I did fairly well with her. But again the same thing. One hit wonders. One summer silver mint leaves were a hit. Then she never sold another leaf. Another summer it was silver hamsa pendants. She sold the first 4 I sent her within 2 months. The next 4 she sent back for stock swap out.

I attempt to make a product line. I see if that product line sells. If it does I re-make, and for some reason this is the end stop of sales for that product.

For the most part I really enjoy making one of a kind products. And yes, I know that is completely opposite of this finding the base product line search but I need to have a balance of support items and super sale items.
The support items are to appeal to a slightly larger audience base, resulting in more sales. Bread-and-butter sales. Sales to cover basic expenses.

That is my situation.
So what answerable questions does this generate?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday inspiration

Ok more specifically Eric Northman from the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlene Harris.
What on earth does this have to do with art?
About as much as posting the Mad Hatter, its more of a jumping off point than anything else.

If you have read the books, or watch True Blood on HBO you are familiar with Fangtasia.
I really like the complete thought process regarding the marketing of the vampire bar, and the packaging of the True Blood drinks.

For me I've been thinking of how I can create vampire inspired jewelry.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Getting crafty with the tech, or is that getting techie with my crafts?

I am attempting to RSS feed this blog to my facebook. I *think* I got the right button pushed over at FB, but then 24 blog posts loaded, and not just the latest one.
This is actually a test blog to see how the connectivity is working.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I love fractals!
Most fractal generators dont work on macs, so I haven't spent hours and hours generating any.
This beautful one is from
I love how it looks like it has tentacles.