28 October 2005

Show business

The Dayton Bead Show is this weekend. I'm meeting JJ at the Holiday in by Dayton Mall at 9:30 tomorrow morning. Show runs from 10-5 tomorrow and 10-4 on Sunday. (If you happen to read this blog and stop by the show, come by the booth and say hi.)

They set me up at the show right next to Green Girl Studios. I've seen their ads in Bead & Button Magazine. I am completely in love with their pewter charms and pendants. I'm afraid that being set up next to them at the show may have disastrous results for me. :)

As usual, I forgot a couple of things for the show. I have a list on the spiral bound notebook next to me. Props to adjust the angle of the boxes, business card holders, the business cards with the blog address on them, the dolls... (How could I forget the dolls? ok, I didn't really forget them, I didn't want to leave them at the show overnight.)

See you tomorrow, I hope.
Filed in:

27 October 2005

Let's face it...

Do you ever get the feeling that you're being watched? There are roughtly 50 glazed faces sitting on the table next to my computer waiting to be fired. I've been trying to get out to the garage to load a kiln for almost 3 hours. The batteries on Sprout's swing died yesterday, so right now I can't even lull her to sleep long enough to take a shower or go to the bathroom. She's teething so she's kinda fussy and high needs at the moment.

The Dayton Show is this weekend. I'll probably go ahead and set up the table tomorrow night on my own and then meet JJ there Saturday for the show.

I should have plenty of stock for the show. I didn't really sell that much in Louisville and haven't done any shows or sales trips since then. I want to place a little more emphasis on the faces for the art dolls this time around. (Which is why there are 50 of them waiting to be fired.) I'm taking my dolls with me to the show to showcase the faces. I'm looking forward to seeing the response.

ETA: I finally loaded Sprout into her car seat and took her, the diaper bag, and my faces out to the garage. I loaded the kiln while she watched from her car seat and then loaded her, and me, into Mom's car (which I'm borrowing for the weekend) to run some errands. We have new batteries for the swing, and now if I can just figure out the dynatrol issue... (What in the bloody h*ll does ErrD mean?) I'm hoping that JJ can come over sometime next week (I wasn't able to pick up the hydrocal from the pottery supply store for him since they were out of stock... this means that he'll need to come this way next week anyway) and we can poke at the kiln. Speaking of which, I should go check on it.

15 October 2005

Magnetic Personality

I decided to make some magnets to go into promotional packages with line sheets and samples and other materials to be sent to prospective wholesale customers. VistaPrint is having a sale right now. The prices aren't great, but they're better than they would be without the sale. I think that the design for the magnet worked out well.
Filed in:

13 October 2005

Collaboration in action

Let's you and I conjure together. You watch me and I'll watch you and I will show you how to show me how to show you how to do our marvelous human tricks together.

Image and finished design by Shari Bonnin of Bonnin Designs

My artform is unusual in that my work remains unfinished until another artist has incorporated it into theirs. I have been fortunate, recently, to share the creative process with Shari Bonnin of Bonnin Designs. I posted an image earlier this week as a preview of the results of this collaboration. For those of us who obsessively pour over the bead magazines that arrive in our mailboxes on a frighteningly regular basis, Shari's name and work is probably familiar. If you're having difficulty remembering why, perhaps a glimpse at one of the Fire Mountain Gems ads on the back covers will spark your memory. Shari's designs have been featured in two of them. In addition, her work was featured on multiple episodes of DIY's Jewelry Making series during the 2004 season.
Image and finished design by Shari Bonnin of Bonnin Designs

It has been such a joy for me to see how Shari has incorporated my work into hers. I hope that readers of my blog enjoy this preview. I look forward to showcasing this and other collaborative efforts on my website in the near future.
Filed in:

Testing 123

The computerized kiln is firing in the garage as I type this. It is the initial test firing which will tell me that I've got everything hooked up correctly and allow the bricks and everything to outgas before I place anything important into the kiln. In about 18 hours I'll be able to look into the spy hole of the kiln and tell whether everything went according to plan. Once this test firing is done, I can fire hundreds and hundreds of beads at the same time. I will probably spend a significant portion of my weekend glazing beads to fire early next week. What fun!!! Yeah!!!!!
Filed in:

12 October 2005

My Little Rosie

We took Sprout to Indiana today for pictures. She was absolutely wonderful. We got some of the most fantastic pictures. I'm particularly thrilled with the pictures of her in her Halloween costume. I decided that I wanted her to be Rosie the Riveter this year since it will probably be my last chance to choose her costume.

We also got some wonderful seasonal shots.
Photos by Sandy Nabb Nabb Photography

11 October 2005

Vessel Necklace Preview

I've been excitedly anticipating the results of several recent collaborative projects. I sent pieces to several members of an online forum that I'm on so that they could use them to make finished jewelry. The first of the jewelry designers to respond was Shari Bonnin of Bonnin Designs. I'll be adding the pictures of the finished work to my website in a special gallery but I wanted to post a quick preview in the form of one of the images that Shari sent me. It shows the vessel that I sent her with the beads that she selected to go with it.

03 October 2005

Free Beads

I'm working on a new marketing plan for my website. It's not really a new idea but I don't know of anyone in the bead community who is using it the way that I am. I want to create a "street team" for my beads.

My plan is to create a page asking visitors to my site for their help finding potential wholesale clients. I need to promote the idea as a win-win situation. What if visitors to my site could go to their favorite local bead store and see my beads and vessels in person, choose from a selection of them, purchase them, and take them home immediately without the wait and expense of shipping. I would love for that to be possible, but what I need is the names and contact information for bead stores in the areas where they live. I would like to reward their help in gathering this information by sending them a thank-you gift for any wholesale leads which result in new wholesale customers.

I really feel like wholesale is a better avenue for me than retail. I would rather spend my time in the studio than setting up a shopping cart on my website or listing auctions on ebay. I would like to use the bead shows to find, service, and promote wholesale clients in the areas where I do shows. I would love to travel to shops around the country and do trunk shows and workshops and speak about ceramic beads at bead guild meetings. I feel like the visitors to my website can be the most powerful force to help make these things happen and I want to create a system which allows, encourages and rewards thier efforts on my behalf.

02 October 2005

Kiln' Time

The electrician came today to wire an outlet for my Kiln. I need to finish hooking up the controller and to buy some witness cones to replace the ones that shipped with the kiln so that I can test fire.

Tonight I'm bisque firing the heart pendants that I'm working on for The Sampler. I also have some callus "stones", the skull masks and doll faces, and some other doll faces all in the kiln. The idea is that I should be able to glaze them while the kiln is going through it's inital test firing and then glaze fire them later in the week. I have a lot of beads and stuff to glaze and fire.

While the electrician was here anyway, we had him run an outlet for my old bench furnace. When I bought the small kiln, I had the guy at Vulcan re-wire the bench furnace since I had accidentally over-fired it. The kiln is now wired for 120V and fires to 1650 on household current so that I can use it for PMC. I'm thinking that I should be able to do some limited raku firing using the bench furnace as well. It is at least worth experimenting with.

Other than that, I've spent most of the last two days working on adding tags to the blog. Hopefully the tags will increase the utility of the blog and make it easier for me to find my website notes. It doesn't do me any good to write down my plans for my website if I can't find my notes to follow up on them.