Sunday, November 28, 2010

ups and downs

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.  Mine was reasonable.

So the display case at Wayward is a no-go.  The smoke shop next door caught fire on Monday night, and Wayward has a bunch of smoke damage, as well as some questions about the structural integrity of the building.  They are closed for the foreseeable future, until further notice.  I'm going to see if I can get Balderdash Books & Art to take the case out of sympathy.
I have yet to hear back from that boutique further up the Ridge that I was talking consignment with.  I will be pinging them again soon.

UP:  Wow, I'm ridiculously busy.  Silent Auction is on Tuesday.  I've received all my cases, and now need to get them arranged and labeled, and the bid sheets made out.  I think (hope) I'll do well there.  Also, the Leaves should be debuting on Etsy and Artfire tonight or tomorrow, along with some more planets, as soon as I finish them off and get pictures.

The Holiday Season has begun, and I need to make the most of it despite my slow start.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sales Outlets and General Design

***all apologies!  I wrote this on Saturday with the intent of posting it on Sunday, and then completely spaced it.***

Firstly, a plug for the Silent Art Auction at North Seattle Community College.  It will be on Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 10am-6pm on the ground floor of the College Center building.  If you're in the vicinity, please stop by.  I will have a lot of things for sale, along with all the other fantastic artists among the students, faculty, and staff of NSCC.

Secondly, I'm definitely going to have a small case of various enamels at Wayward Coffee for at least the holiday season, hopefully longer.  It will, for starters, be mostly leaves and a couple of Different Worlds pieces.

Thirdly, I love design.  All design.  I also love it when an organization, particularly a non-profit, turns out to have a deep, honest, ingrained, expansive sense of humor.  If you take these 2 things and put them in a blender, you get 826, a coalition of non-profits dedicated to helping kids become better, more enthusiastic writers.  One of the ways they help support themselves (ans also have bases of operation) is by having physical storefronts selling humorously surreal products.  Some time ago, I followed some links to Echo Park Time Travel Mart, but thought it was just some temporary art installation project.  I walk by Greenwood Space Travel Supply several times a week, and noticed that they were connected to some non-profit having to do with writing, but didn't think much further on it.  Today I followed a link on Etsy to The Museum Of Unnatural History, and in a scramble to find out where the hell I could get some of those posters, I finally put all the 826s together.  There are a number of stores on unique themes scattered throughout the country, and now I want to travel around to all of them and bring home awesome things.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Always test before distributing

Pretty much the first of anything I make is reserved for my personal use, so I can see how it holds up to wear, and if there are any further engineering/durability problems that need solving.  I've been wearing the leaf comb for a week now, and have come to the conclusion that the plastic comb I had the leaves mounted to was an utter piece of crap.  I started out with 7 tines, and now I'm down to 3.  I've ordered some metal combs that will hopefully hold up better.  Also, I made them of slightly-too-thin metal, so the enamel has some cracks in it.  I'm bumping them up to 22-gauge for the next set.

In somewhat cautiously positive news, I think I've found some retail outlets for my work.  1) A boutique up on Phinney Ridge, near the zoo, has expressed interest in trying the leaves on consignment (Yay!), and I think that the focus on hand-mades there will do well for my stuff. 2) My favorite coffee shop (Wayward in Greenwood) also shows/sells art, but it's mostly 2-d hangable stuff, so I didn't really think about it as a venue. Apparently I was wrong, as when I was in there on Friday, the owner expressed enthusiastic interest in my stuff.  Also, I know the clientele there, and it would put some of my more geeky work in front of more geeky people (folks like me!).  The practical upshot of all this is that I need to get a *LOT* of production done this week with the new engineering, as I want to have enough pieces to start negotiating with by Friday.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Technical difficulties

This has been a week of technical difficulties, interspersed with moments of spectacular pure stupidity on my part.  Lessons learned thus far include: 1) never mix enamels, even when they're supposed to be the same thing, 2) the simplest solution is often the best, 3) Hotter is not necessarily better, 4) never use a hammer anywhere near enamels, 5) never underestimate the power of a good adhesive, 6) never underestimate the power of a well-cut stencil, 7) never underestimate how long it takes to cut a stencil well, and last but not least, 8) when dealing with pitch , never, never, never forget the mineral oil.

As you can guess, I've had some enamel contamination problems.  My best clear is coming out speckled white now.  I've made the best of it on the project in question.

 This is what they were supposed to be:

and the finished, assembled piece in my hair:
I'm going to be doing more leaves, probably holly and other none too complex things.

I've made some decisions about setting the different worlds pendants, and enamels in general.  Just needed to modify the original idea and lower the firing temps.
As for the pitch, that was just a hard lesson.

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Hallows ate my brain

Apologies again for the late posting. All Hallows is a big deal in my household so I spent the day on prep and festivities-hosting.
Anyway, I've given up on the moon phase choker for now. I'll probably revisit the idea in a little while when I'm not so frustrated with it in general and bezels in particular.
In more successful news, I'm friends with the folks in charge of this game publisher, and I've been trying on and off to do something with their logo (I once submitted a cuttlebone cast silver piece as a suggestion for the logo design). I finally succeeded with an enamel badge of the logo they went with.

 Pic does not do justice.  the letters actually float above their background while the dunes in front of them are very definitely foreground.  Nonetheless, it's about 1/2" X 2", and it's not bad, but I'm not absolutely thrilled either.  I'd like to get sharper lines, but without resorting to cloisonne wire.  I only used the stuff for the dune curves because the boundary between white and transparent was absolutely crucial to the look.  I suppose super-sharp logo lines will have to be my next technological innovation.
Also: a picture of my pieces in the miniatures display case at school.  I didn't realize until looking at the picture just now that they misspelled my last name. 


The next theme is "Transformation/Metamorphosis".  I already have plans for what I'm going to make for that one, and I will be sure to write my info down more clearly.