Friday, September 26, 2008

The Kiln Has Cooled...

...and my pieces have been unloaded. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out. You experienced potters, keep your opinions to yourselves and let me enjoy my perceived success! I could hardly wait to photograph them. In fact, I ran outside inbetween rain showers to take these shots.
I took three semesters of pottery classes in college, but didn't really learn anything. The instructor was one of those watch me and now you're on your own kind of guys. My pieces in college were clunky, chunky, and lopsided. I've been taking classes at a local art gallery and have the best teacher in the world! She's really good and takes the time to work with me and show how to improve. My new work is still a bit lopsided but I'm getting better!

The slab vases, pictured above, I built during the tropical storm that hit us a few weekends ago. It was time well spent, since I couldn't really go anywhere during the storm anyhow. I learned a lot from reading this tutorial I found on how to do slab construction. I was worried to death that I did something wrong out of ignorance and they'd blow up in the kiln, but apparently all was well. Whew!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Storque feature

My bookbinding team has been featured in Etsy's Storque blog!

Participating in a team is a great way to get connected on Etsy, make friends, and help promote each other. Yeah team! My journal is the first one in the second row.

Thursday's Treasures

I'm starting another new weekly posting! Each Thursday I'll pick my top four favorite items from Etsy to share with you. Today's debut features some fabulous items from these sellers. Click the links below the pictures to visit their shops!
au naturale mini vase by annaspots

bee and the blossoms by waywardgirl

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Studio

I always enjoy seeing pictures and reading about other people's creative spaces. I'm glad to have a room to call my wasn't always like that. In our first house, I shared a tiny 8 x 9 room with the computer desk. If my husband was working at the desk and I was at my work table, we'd bump the backs of our chairs into each other! I utilized every square inch of my space, though.

I spend a lot of time sitting in this chair working on the computer! (Not the little blue chair, the big one! The little one is for my creative assistant.)

This is where the journals and my other works of art are born! I love my "new" floor lamp inherited from my grandmother. It's true vintage! And behold, I can see what I'm doing now!!

Here is the studio watchdog, hard at work! Don't let him fool you, no one can enter or leave the room without his knowledge. He sleeps with one eye open. Sometimes I try to sneak by him to get a snack from the kitchen. Just when I think I've been successful, he usually appears quite suddenly behind me in the pantry! "Whatcha got there, mum? Any to share?"

My sewing table (which is not often used!) and my "resource center". My husband built the bookcase for me. I got sick of the cheap store bought ones that warp under the heavy weight of my art books. I had to keep flipping the shelves over to bend them in the opposite direction! This bookcase is solid wood, and guess what? No warped shelves! Yeah!

My bulletin board, cluttered with inspiration and little gifts from friends!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Good photographs sell!

One of the keys to successful selling online is having a good photo of your item. Since your customer cannot touch and see your item in person, you need an accurate representation of it.

Please don't think I am an expert photographer by any means, but here is what I've learned in my one year journey on Etsy...all mistakes revealed!

When I first started selling on Etsy, my photographs stunk! Just to prove it to you, here is one. I took the photo inside in a homemade lightbox. Not that there's anything wrong with a homemade lightbox--I had the box, just not the light! I was using an incandescent lamp and my picture turned out dull with yellow undertones. I know you can fix things like this with fancy software, but I barely know how to use the program that came with my camera.

A kind soul suggested I try using outdoor light, so I gathered up a bundle of fabrics to use as backdrops and headed outside. I tried photographing in the sun, but the bright light tended to wash out my pictures. I waited for the sun to move and tried again in the shade. The lighting was a major improvement over my previous picture, but the wrinkles in the blanket are just plain distracting!!

My next attempt was taken outdoors again in indirect light, using a pillow for a rich, neutral background. That took care of the wrinkles, but then I had a new problem. My challenge here was trying to get a decent shot without the deck, garden, and dog running around in the background. I draped a piece of brown fleece over the chair to block the distractions. I was quite pleased with the results, given what I started with! However, my camera was having difficulty with the contrast between the dark brown backdrop and the pale foreground, giving my photo a greyish tint.

Another important discovery was the macro button on my camera. If you're taking close shots of your work and have this feature, use it!! It makes a huge difference in the clarity of your photos.
I used a piece of decorative paper for my background and tried different camera angles to avoid getting my patio table and the dog in the picture. I cropped out whatever I couldn't avoid.
After much experimentation, I discovered the perfect time of day for taking my pictures, which of course changes with the seasons, so it's a never-ending process!!

For those who are curious, here is a shot before cropping. See my lovely table and all the journals stacked in the cue, waiting to be photographed?!
For further information and tutorials, check out Etsy's storque articles on this subject. Here is one Etsy published that is helpful.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New interview!

Hey all, check out my latest interview with Valorie of Battlemaiden Studio-- She did a great job!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...