Wednesday, December 30, 2020

A day in the life of a bowl maker...

 Well, more like several days, but what the heck!  

So I've been making bowls for a number of years now... I've even lost track of how long, but it's at least 8 years or more I think.  I fell in love with the process right away, and have (hopefully) improved my skillset over the years so that I can turn out a pretty decent bowl or vessel these days.  I wish I had photos of some of my first bowls, but I think they got lost in the transfer to new computers over the years.  But here's one of my more recent ones, just in time for Valentine's Day:

So following this bowl, I decided to make my next one and video the process.  I'm trying to get more comfortable with video so I can record and share the process as I make a bowl, but I also hope to do more with the camera over the coming year(s) to expand my outreach to the crafting community.
I could go on and on about the various roadblocks I encountered trying to use a "knock off" camera my hubby bought online, but you would be sound asleep before you got halfway through!  Suffice it to say, we have ordered another camera and hope to get back to learning video next week.  Meanwhile, here are some pix of the finished bowl I was making while trying to video the process:
The finished front with beads covering some nasty stitching

Medallion and button covering the nasty stitching from adding the beads on front

Fabric circle covering the center where the exposed coil was showing through

I lost a little sleep trying to think of creative ways to "save" this disaster, and I'm pleased that it looks as good as it does now, 'cause it was nasty before I found ways to cover things up!  The last thing I did, which I don't have pix of is to carefully zigzag around the center dot to be sure it doesn't come off!  I glued one dot, but the glue bled through so that looked ugly.  I fused another on on top and used my tiny iron to heat the fusible webbing, but still didn't think it was on good enough.  

I took this shot before adding the medallion and center dot... and actually before I added the second bead on the front!  I think I need a nap...

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Studio tour and More!

My friend Jana is coaching me on how to "up my game" to increase interest in my work, so today I made a video to give my friends and customers a short tour of my studio space.  This was made totally on the fly, but I'm hoping it encourages me to use video as a good tool to share my work, process and thoughts going forward.  Grab a seat, your popcorn and soda!

 My Studio Tour

I can't believe it's been about 10 years since I posted anything on you tube!  Next year I hope to get back to doing demonstrations and tutorials, so stay tuned!

On another note, I recently opened a new shop on Etsy just to see how I would do there.  So far, no sales, but there are a lot more sellers there, so I am working to learn the ropes on how to get my work noticed.  

And I have decided to make a few changes to my branding in 2021:  First, a brand new Logo!

It may look a little colorless, but my plan is to have a couple of stamps made up that I can use for my hang tags, business cards, etc.  I really like the look of it... much more professional than the one I have used for years, and it is not limiting like my current one is.  I've gone beyond just tie-dye, so I need something that will be "me" on all my work!  And along those lines, I plan to change my domain name from to a bit longer, but it's my biz name, so it ties together.

But I'm not just focusing on the biz end of things!  Yesterday, I picked up some things to use as displays with my bowls when I photograph them, to give people an idea of how they can be put to use.  I started out recently using various purse items:

This is a practical display, but kind of "meh" as far as garnering any interest.

This is a totally decorative display, but might start giving the viewer some ideas

So far, this is my favorite... functional and decorative, and of course, colorful!

I also realized that I'm in need of more scarves to sell... one of my best selling items for Holiday gifts, so I pulled out some silk/rayon cut velvet fringed scarves I've had in my undyed inventory, and did a couple of dye batches the other day.  Here are a few:

I love the colors on this first one:  Orchid, Avocado and Golden Yellow.  They seem to really go with the season!  And I love Paisley - this one and the one below are the same pattern.  The one above is 14 x 72, the two below are 10 x 58.

This one is Burgundy, Moss Green and Golden Yellow... another great wintertime combination.

And this is the same Burgundy, Moss Green and Golden Yellow, but in a leaf design.  I'm so glad I remembered that I had these!

Okay, time to get off the computer - been spending way too many hours on it recently, and I think it's time to get back to the studio!  Happy Holidays to you all, and here's hoping that 2021 brings us all good health and harmony!