Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Goings Ons

These past couple of weeks have been so full. I would like to take a moment to talk about what has been going on.

Firstly, I submitted a pedestal table into the Ozaukee County Art Show at the Cedarburg Cultural Center. It was the first piece of furniture that I have entered into any show, since my senior year of college. I was nervous, excited, anxious, hopeful, doubtful...the list goes on and on. But what happened was shocking. Someone bought the table before the show even opened. There are so many words I could use to describe I felt, but most of all, I felt grateful, elated, and vindicated.

I have recently taken a huge step back to figure out what direction to grow in as an artist. Selling that table meant that I know without a doubt that I am heading in the right direction! It was inspiring and awesome and magnificent! and I am on top of the world!

The next thing I have been working on is reinventing my Etsy store. The first time I tried this was just kind of blah. I had high hopes, but it never really went anywhere. I have decided to give it another shot, but this time look at it differently. Basically, it is a way for people to see the work, get an idea of my pricing, and contact me. Another little something for folks to check in on every once in a while.

I am trying to work harder on self promotion. If you don't tell anyone what you are doing, how else are they going to know? At first, I thought, does anyone give a rat's patoot? But now I realize, no one does unless you show it to them. So if you have time, check out the Etsy site. If you want to read about the trials and tribulations of trying to build a small business, read the blog. And if you just want to drop me a note, become my friend on facebook.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Questions and Answers...at Least Temporarily

I accomplished my goal for the coffee table last week, which was to get all the tenons cut. I thought that this week I would set out to mortise the tops of the legs to hold the skirt, but that's not going to happen. My kids are out of school for spring break...I won't be getting anything done this week!

I have been thinking a great deal about moving my workshop out of the house and into either a barn (which would require moving) or renting space somewhere. In the past, I have rented space, which has its pros and cons...cost being the major drawback. But it was nice to interact with people! It is definitely quiet here at home. But if I got the tools out of the basement, the kids would have a rec room and the house might not feel so cramped. Also, the thought of bringing clients through my laundry room to get to the workshop is horrifying!

Let's talk about the ideal workshop. Ideally, it would be a shared workshop where the rent would be split and the tools shared mostly. The space would be decent enough to house all the tools and at least a couple workbenches. There could be a small room for finishing, and windows for ventilation. Other than that, what else do you need? A bathroom I suppose and a microwave. I know whose studio I am describing... but even he works at home now. Such a shame. He would have made a great studio mate!

The benefits to having the tools at home, are that when the kids go to bed, I can always run downstairs and glue something up, heat is free, rent is free, and if something needs to be fixed at the house I don't have to run across town to get my drill. That pretty much sums it up. But no one can actually see the work, unless I enter a show. I should probably leave my cave more often so I can find out where the juried shows are!

I think I may have just solved my own dilemma. I need to get out and find some more shows and get myself out there. The one thing I hate, and it's embarrassing to admit this because I owned a gallery once, is that if you show your work in a gallery, you have to price it through the roof to make it on your end. Does that make sense? If a gallery takes 35%, your cute end table just went from $175 to $275. Basically, it went from affordable to iffy. So that leaves me feeling like, instead of showing in a gallery, I would rather pay for a booth and do a show somewhere. But that means building inventory. That is exactly what I am trying to do now...but it is so hard to fight the urge to get a couple pieces out there.

I need to wrap this up. Basically, what we have figured out is to keep the studio at home, and keep building inventory for shows. Stay out of the galleries to keep the prices down. We can always rent space someday when we are famous! Ha!