We’re on holiday, visiting my sister who lives in Greece. We’re on holiday from that holiday too, having a few days away in the lovely Saronic island of Aegina, which you can get to in less than an hour from Athens.
We all know that we get inspiration in a multitude of places, but my sensory creative brain is working overtime here!
Yesterday we visited an ancient Greek site a stones throw from our hotel. It cost buttons to get in and we ad the place to ourselves. In the great museum were a fabulous range of ceramic pots of all shapes andsizes, including a six foot hand built amphora! But all those shapes got me wondering about making forms other than jewellery inpolymer clay…ideas brewing, but might have a go when I get back.
Today we walked round the bay to visit the former summer studio of a Greek artist Christos Kaproulos, whose work in wood, clay, stone, paint and bronze, we’re clearly influenced by His ancient Greek heritage. And he worked on a grand scale too!
If you happen to be in this part of the world this is a great website with details of both places
How do you know when your dream is an achievable goal or a unachievable stick to beat yourself with?
It is good to set goals. I’m airily new to working with Polymer Clay and learning all the time. I can therefore assume that if I continue to work hard at my craft I will get better and nearer my goal.
Also if I know where I want to be I have a vision, a goal, to aim for. If you have a direction in mind you can make sure you are on the right road to get where you want to be.
But, but, but….what if my goal is fantasy? What if I never have a cat in hell’s chance of reaching it? Is it still worth me aiming for? Even if disappointment will follow?
Ah, I hear you say, how do you know you will never achieve it if you don’t aim for it?
As someone with any kind of dream you have to work out for yourself if the chance of reaching your dream is worth the effort it will take and the risk of disappointment if you don’t reach it.
Me, I love the challenge of learning new stuff whether it is jewellery or marketing; the fun is in the learning journey and seeing where you get to.
And here a few photos of the kind of work I want to making in future…Helen Breil, Maggie Maggio and Melanie West respectively.
I have a rare luxury of lots of ‘free’ time this very long weekend and I’m planning to use some of that time to play with some new ideas which have been brewing in my brain.
However, I was reading Seth Godin’s blog this week about ‘Getting Serious about Experimentation‘ and relating this not only to my marketing, but also my creativity.
In marketing we are used to the ideas of testing in a robust manner; you change maybe one thing and see if the results are different. Or for more extreme experimenting you know what you are testing and what you hope to achieve. You can write it down and measure the results.
Maybe in my creativity I need to replicate some of these techniques. If I just run off and play randomly how do I know where I’ve come from or if the results are where I want to be headed?
Without a clear idea of what you are experimenting to achieve how do you know you’ve got good results?
So my plan is to write down some of the things I want to try out, where do I want them to take me, And what do I want to see at the end.
Happy Jubilee weekend!
Time to share some amazing work and have a bit of studio envy at the same time!
I came across this guy’s work on Pinterest and just love it!
But I’m also deeply envious of this amazing studio and the relaxed creating manner!
Here’s a link to see more of his studio and work.
Well my first fair is tomorrow afternoon and I’m ready.
For maybe the first time ever I can thank my lucky stars that I spent 20 years as a fundraiser organising events. And that I am a list queen extraordinaire!
So what’s on my list? Starting in the manner of my husband packing for holiday, from the bottom up:
- Table (if one isn’t provided)
- Table cloth
- Waterproof cover/gazebo – if outdoors in the unpredictable UK weather
- Sign saying who you are – I’ve had my Facebook cover with website on colour printed at A3 and laminated
- Stall design stuff – pin boards and books to lean them against, hangers etc
- Product – whatever you are selling. In my case my polymer clay jewellery. I have pendants, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Plus a few key rings and mobile charms.
- Price list or prices on your products – I’ve done both!
- Promotional material – business cards, but I’ve also put plan b in the box of my logo and web address stamp and some brown luggage tags incase I run out
- Packaging – tissue paper cut to size in a waterproof sleeve, and brown bags all stamped with my logo and web address
- Pen and paper – for making notes, taking contact details and commission notes
- Insurance documents
- Money to pay for the stall
- Cash float in denominations which suits my pricing – lots of pound coins.
- A handbag to put over me to take money in
- Camera – to take pictures of the stalls and me selling
- Spare earring backs
- Spare price labels
- Pins, cello tape, scissors
- A new blog of clay – to show people what I start from
And tomorrow morning all I need to do is put it all in the car, and make a couple of flasks and some food (never leave home without!). Fill the car with petrol and we are done!
So, now I sounds really smug and sorted….what have I forgotten?
As well as being a ‘maker’, I’m also a ‘marketer’. I thought it might be useful to share some tips every now and then to help our makers, creatives, artists and crafters improve their chances of making the business work. Hope they help! And let me know if there is anything you’d like me to cover.
I am slightly obsessed by target audience. I feel I’m constantly bringing people back to it in my day job. It is the big question for anyone who wants to put anything out there for others.
Who are you trying to reach?
Who are you selling to?
Are you selling direct to customers? Are you selling to galleries who will sell to the customer? Your message and how you reach them will vary depending on who you want to get to.
One example that I find myself picking myself up on is hashtags on twitter (# things that people use to search). If I put polymer clay or fimo as a hashtag who am I reaching? In all likelihood other polymer clay artists. Is that who I want to reach? Maybe, to be part of the community. But if I put jewellery as a hashtag am I more likely to reach someone who is going to buy? Yes!
A little tip that might help I hope!
And finally, here’s what’s on my workable today – latest work in progress!
This weekend I was trying out the crown drawing ideas and i had the gold and silver metallic out!
I did a bit of messing with what I had conditioned and I thought I’d share a few results!
A couple of red and silver, and one red and gold.
Also I made a flower! In silver and gold?! Ok not very naturalistic but I kind of like it!
How to I get from idea to finished product?
It all starts with random ideas. These often pop into your head just as you are dropping off to sleep never to be seen or heard from again. But there are others which lurk in the deepest recesses forming themselves into something tangible.
I thought with the jubilee coming up I should do something to coincide with it. That was as far as the idea got. Then I started seeing union jack flags everywhere. Then I popped into Lakeland plastics to have a look at their latest cookie cutters and I came across a pack of three crowns. So I bought them.
Things brewed on in the subconscious of my mind, with no concerted effort on my part. Then one day I got out pen and paper. I can’t draw and lack confidence in sketching my ideas but I had to get my idea on paper to see how it would work.
Then it was time to get some clay out. This is what it looks like in the packet. The bright ones among you will notice that these weren’t the colours I used for the Union Jack!
After conditioning the clay, with the help of my pasta machine, I had a prototype which did resemble a flag!
But I’d cut out the blue and had no backing on the flag and it was really fiddly. So for the next one I put a black of blue clay down and then added striped slabs of pearl and red for the stripes. This worked much better and after some refining and tweaking I was happy with the first few. Out came the cookie cutter and one crown!
Into the oven to bake!
And finally one Union Jack Crown! Although this isn’t the final stage as I need to sand and buff them and attach a brooch backing. But it is almost finished!