Follow by Email

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Silver Glass Class 3

My next silver glass tip, is something that is pretty important. Did you know that there are two categories of silver glass? One is reducing and the other is striking. Geesh, I was so far behind, I didn't even know that.

I've got two samples of striking colors on seashells. I used seashells to try out the different glasses and techniques, because they are sculptural with the ruffled lip and yet have some relatively smooth surfaces of regular beads. I thought this would give me both styles and an idea of how the glass reacts with both.

Both of the seashells were decorated with blown shards of the striking silver glass. I used a hollow mandrel to blow the bubble and then applied the broken pieces to the base bead.
(That's always fun!)

The top bead used Double Helix's Elektra Glass shards on an ivory base bead . You can see how the silver glass partially fumed the rest of the bead in places. I know you can get a variety of colors and metallic finishes with that glass, but I was going for the turquoise end of it.

The bottom seashell used Raku R108 shards that I blew. I applied them to an ivory base and added additional ink blue for the edge of the ruffle for fun. You can click on the link to my Etsy shop for more views of it.

I found when making the shells as samples, if I used the base bead color as the dots on top of the shell, it was easier to remember what I had done.

After I applied the shards and melted them in, I slightly marvered with my brass Stump Shaper. This was as much to chill the glass and help bring out the color. Both glass types were quick to do that. If I wanted, I could have cooled and then slightly reheated to strike the glass some more. I kept my flame slightly oxygenated for this.

So if you are a newbie like I am, you have a little homework. Go separate your glass. Not only should it all be labeled, but you should know which rods are striking and which ones are reducing. It makes a huge difference on you treat them to get the color out of them. And if they are both, it's your call. I bet you can guess what I'll be writing about next time it's a "silver glass" blog day. Yes, my favorite of the two types, striking glass. Love the shine!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Silver Glass Class 2

I've got so much to tell you from my glass class by Julie Ferguson. I can't tell you exactly what she teaches, but there sure are some basic tips, that seem fair to share.

My first one is to make some sample beads or in Julie's case, leaves of the different types of glass. I photographed these in some pretty poor light, (that's aluminum underneath them, so you know the color is off), but you get the idea.

I loved being able to see one variation of the glass that I was going to try. It seems like it changes pretty easily, depending on what the conditions are, how you treat it and what glass it is next to, but this is it in its pure form. And you know, a tiny spacer, (trying to be cost effective) wouldn't do it for me. I'd definitely go a little larger.

And another tip is to label them carefully. I learned that some glass companies change the formula and so knowing the name of the glass and the date can be important. If you're a newbie like me, keep careful records. I had no idea.

As a total newbie, I was a little wary about silver glass. Not that I thought it would hurt me, but I didn't want to waste any financial investment that I made to try it. I am a hands on type learner. There are some great tutorials and information on the internet- but for me, there's nothing like actually trying it and seeing what it does in person. If you buy a tutorial, I own the one that was compiled from the LE group. It has a lot of resources and information that is quite handy.

I found that I had some personal favorites. I'll talk about them later and a few more little bits that I learned from my hands-on experience. But for now, it's your turn to dig out your hoarded silver glass that you haven't tried and at least make a paddle of the type of glass and label it. I know that's what I'm going to do.

See you tomorrow with more glass chat,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Neck Constellations- What's Your Sign?

I don't know about you, but it seems like many glass artists I know have small white scars from the burn marks that they have received from popping hot glass while working.

Many of mine have landed on my once tender neck. I think that if I connected the dots, I might find something interesting.

I have named this occurrence, "Neck Constellations".

With Summer sun tans, they become more prominent. I have decided that instead of ignoring them, that perhaps we might celebrate them instead.

So for your easy identification, I've provided a chart of some of the constellations. I'm thinking mine might be closest to Perseus, but I'll need to do a little more studying first.

For a while, I was getting glass sniper fire quite regularly. But one day, I had one of those "Aha Moments". My spitting glass was bouncing off of my torch mounted marver directly onto my neck. "Duh, change the angle of it, oh blonde one!" And to proves that the blonde hair is not exactly natural anymore, I actually remembered and did it. And better yet, it worked.

My second photo is showing how the scars can be artfully camoflaged by wearing lampwork jewelry. This was a secret santa gift by my friend Susan Logue and the heart was made by Deronda O'Neil. May I suggest that we encourage everyone we know to wear lampwork jewelry whether scarred or not.

So I guess it's time for you to go look in a mirror and reach inside for your inner Nostradamus and let me know if you can identify your personal constellation.

Monday, April 27, 2009

How We See Ourselves as Artists

Self portraits come in all shapes, sizes and mediums. How we see ourselves, or wish to tell our own story can be expressed in so many ways.

I make a lot of custom order beads of people. Grandchildren, family members, and even famous people.

But when it comes down to expressing who we are, it gets.....well, personal.
Have you ever tried that game of "pick three adjectives that best tell who you are"? It's pretty hard. And that darn introspection sometimes makes you a little too self aware.

I was reading through one of my favorite websites. It's the Smithsonian Museum. They have a page that has links to their museums. It's like all this interesting inspiration just a click away.

I chose this piece of art, because to me it was fascinating. This is Margo Humphrey's "The History of Her Life Written Across Her Face" which uses small pictures (rebus) and words to tell who this artist is. Click on the link to use their "zoomify it" tool, which helps you read and see what she has to say about being an African American artist and her point of view.

And as always, I thought about this in glass. If I were to attempt something like this, what would mine say? How would I be able to technically accomplish it? I included a small photo of myself that uses one of my Apple computer tools to turn it into bright colors. The blues, greens and aquas are some of my favorite colors, so perhaps I'd start there with that as a background. As for writing the words, I have three words- stringer control & magnifiers...perhaps I should have added steady hands and great lighting too.

I'm going to have to contemplate what words I'd find necessary to include. And that's your creativity challenge for the day. You don't need to make one of these, but think about it. How would you express yourself in glass? What would you want to say and what would it look like? And as always, I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Glass Hand Coolers- Modern & Delightful

Recently, I've been poking around for current or past others uses for our glass art, and have come across this cupcake and plate that are lampworked and slumped/fused by Patty and Dinah Hulet in the glass hand cooler fashion.

In Victorian times, it was the style for women to carry carved egg shaped glass objects to wrap their hands around and hopefully cool off a bit. These were decorated in various ways, but were somewhat similar to a slightly larger paperweight about 1.5 - 3 inches tall. I can imagine that the way women dressed in those days and the lack of air conditioning, made it quite uncomfortable in the summer.

While reading about these hand coolers, I also found that small spheres of glass have been made for at least 2000 years. They found that some were used for juggling in ancient Rome's baths - which apparently had sand floors, so it's not quite so crazy sounding.

So cheers to Patty and Dinah for their new, modern spin on antique hand coolers and here's their cute blog for a little more fun viewing.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Silver Glass Class - The Overview

This is just a short teaser about the Southern Flames' silver reactive glass class at Beads by Design that I took on Thursday and Friday. It rocked!

Being rather a novice in that area, I had been interested in learning more about the different silver glass options that are on the market. After all, they are pretty expensive to just pick up a quarter pound to experiment.

So I took a class with Julie Ferguson who is a wonderful teacher. She knows so much about a lot of them and has done very careful tracking on each one, and how they react to different glass and other factors.

She also has created an awesome handout that helps keep me straight. You know with all the choices out there, it's almost like learning a new language.

Between the handout and having a selection of some of the products that are out there...I didn't count, but at least 8 different ones, I could compare and see which ones I really liked up close and in person.

After I get some photos of my beads, I'll write again about which ones were my personal favorites from the class. It will just be a newbie's point of view from what happened during the class. But meanwhile, do you use reactive glass? If so, which ones do you like and why? I'd love to find out. Perhaps you use a brand that we didn't try and can teach all of us a little more about something that is definitely here to stay.

p.s. The photo is from Thursday's class. Left to Right: Becky, Kristy, Martha & Sandy- fellow classmates. We got a little toasty in the afternoon and Becky is goofing around and fanning Kristy. (I love the colors of their shirts with the background wall color- wouldn't that be pretty on a bead?)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Twitter Fortune Cookies - What Next?

Do you Twitter? I know I've asked you before. It seems like more and more people have joined it.

It can be addictive just seeing what folks say in their 140 character short version. It's not quite eavesdropping, but a tiny touch of what's on their mind or happening in their lives.

Well for those seriously addicted, here are Twitter Fortune Cookies which use actual twitter updates for their fortunes.

"Umlauts are grillz for vowels" one says.

So now it's your turn to be creative...besides telling us that your beads or jewelry are for sale in your shop, (don't a lot of us tweet for that purpose?), in 140 characters or less, give me a great fortune that could also be a tweet. Come on, I know you're creative....let's hear some crazy ones!

See you tomorrow...and keep those creative juices flowing.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Finding Wonderland- It's Hard!

Our Fire Divas group of lampworkers is making beads for Bead & Button's auction to benefit Breast Cancer. An Alice in Wonderland theme was chosen, which in one way is exciting, but in other ways, is quite a challenge.
(and let's be honest, Tim Burton's upcoming movie and of course Johnny Depp were mentioned too.)

Originally, I had signed up to make Alice, but it seemed like everyone was having a tough time with the Cheshire Cat, so I decided to throw my hat into the ring to try him too.

Some of the challenges- not to make him look exactly Disney, but still the viewer know who it is, finding a good bright pink and one of the hardest challenges for me, making all those darn stripes. Geesh, that isn't technically hard, but time consuming and so easy to mess up.

Sure, his little round body was easy to stripe. Just go around in circles. But two arms and legs and a tail take a lot more time. I was busy stacking dots for a looooong time in order to form the stripes. This was my first try. I know that when I make another Cheshire Cat, I'll be making him a little differently and in a different pose. I have visions of a complete set to sell at the Gathering.

What's important is that he looks pretty good with the rest of the beads in the Fire Divas' set and perhaps a bead store or individual will fall in love with all of them and scoop them up while benefiting the non-profit.

I also sculpted and donated a White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, which I'll show you another time.

Have you tried making stripes? Did you use a different method to create them? And which Alice in Wonderland Character is your favorite?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Watch Me Create- It's My Turn

If you haven't visited the Watch Me Create blog recently, may I suggest that you might take a few minutes and stop by?

Okay, it's not just because it was just my turn for my article about "Whimsical Interpretations of Art & People", but because we have more writers adding diverse commentary on their art and craft styles.

Now there are 15 of us. And who would have known that each of the 15 artists have something interesting to say. (Well, I bet Lori Greenberg knew, she's the mastermind behind it.)

I read about inspiration for things they're doing, what books they're reading, and enjoy learning about their creative processes.

And when you find someone who really interests can look for their name on the right hand side of the blog and click on their name for more of their posts, or click on their photos on the left, and be taken directly to their websites. (Find me at the very bottom of the artist totem pole- strong shoulders you know...).

Let me know if you've stopped by too. You can leave a comment there. If you have nothing to say, just use the secret code word, "cupcake". I'll know what you mean. (and if you're in my Etsy shop looking for Frida, there will be another one added very soon.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Flower Ring Giveaway & Interview

Have you ever visited The Post-It Place? It's a great blog. There are always giveaways, interviews and fun features. It's one of those blogs that always has something interesting going on.

Well, this week, I'm the "MMM" Meet Me Monday interview and feature. You'll learn amazing facts (okay, maybe they aren't amazing) and see fabulous photos of my work, (okay, maybe not fabulous, but "pretty good")

But this I can say for sure, if you follow the rules, you can be entered in my Flower Blossom adjustable ring giveaway. It's not the one shown in this photo here, but one that is at the bottom of the article.

If you look on the left side of the blog, you'll also see more contests to enter while you're there. It just takes a few minutes, and wouldn't it be cool to win one? That can't happen, unless you try.

This past weekend, I made a lot more of these rings. I think they're pretty. I'm slowly adding them to my etsy shop under the category- "Mothers Day Jewelry", and have a few shown in my Flickr page as well. And even more in my jewelry tray.

Hope you have a minute or two to stop by this fun blog, and please enter my giveaway. Tell you what, if you win, I'll let you choose from any that I have made and are on hand. Just remind me.

Catch you tomorrow...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jim Moore's Pi Divider- Great Glass Tool

Have you seen this tool before? If not, it's one that can save you a lot of time and energy.

Please welcome Jim Moore's Pi Divider. It's a handy item that is reasonably priced and well worth it.
Depending on the size you need, it can run $25-$35. I have the smaller one.

A pi divider is used to figure out how long of a cane or twisty you need to go around the circumference of your bead.

You measure with the small cupped end and the distance of the "tong" side" is how long it needs to be.

Cool, isn't it?

And if you aren't familiar with Jim Moore's tools, pop by and view them. I own several, and each one is beautifully made with care and expertise. I know I'll get quality equipment when I order from him or any of his distributors. I'd like to thank Andrea Guarino for introducing me to his tools and Patti Cahill for showing me this particular one and what it does. They are both fabulous beadmakers and wonderful teachers.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Are You Here? I Need Your Input, Please.

Like many blog writers, I enjoy seeing where my readers live. I use a service that tells me approximate location, time of day, how many people and what search engine was used. (I'm not sure what I would do with that information .)

I suppose I have it because it makes me feel good that glass artists and other interested people are reading what I write and must find it useful or at least entertaining. And to be honest, I have a strong strain of the "curious" gene. I like knowing what is interesting to others, so I can write more along that line.

So please help my curiosity. Who are you and where do you live? What would you like me to write more about? I'm happy to oblige, but you need to tell me what interests you. More about other glass artists, techniques, tools, inspiration, creativity, personal, general art interest or something else? More photos and less talk? More talk and less photos?

It's your turn to speak up. If you don't want to have your comment printed, you can always write me ... StudioMarcy (at)

See you tomorrow for a feature about a tool that very few people have, but it can make your art a lot easier.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Etsy's Search Function Enhanced

Etsy recently announced some changes to their search function. Other online selling sources have some of these features already, but as an Etsy seller, I'm thrilled with anything that makes it easier to find my art.

Some of the changes include:

• A simpler drop down menu
• A redesigned search results page with a price filter. (Etsy says more filters to come.)
• An advanced item search, which is pictured below. Etsy plans on adding more functions including search by location.

Etsy's Storque announcement with the full details can be found here.

What does that mean for us, the Etsy sellers?
Well, hopefully an easier way for buyers to find us and exactly what they are looking for.

or maybe not?

I did a quick search on Etsy for "handmade lampwork bead focal" and found 7,638 entries.
If you search for just "handmade lampwork bead", you get 47,885 entries. Makes you realize that you can't depend on the search function for new potential customers to find you.

So althought I'm happy that Etsy is improving, there is a long way to go. I think we all need to depend on ourselves to market our work and get our shop names out to the public. Group & individual advertising, local shows, passing out business cards whenever possible and every other route to bring in our customers and then provide them with a piece of art that will not only be memorable and make them happy, but provide them with customer service which will make them want to return to shop with us again.

See you tomorrow, I'd better get my packages ready to ship...

Friday, April 17, 2009

Knobs and Pulls- Gorgeous and Not Traditional

One of the lesser explored areas that some lampwork glass artists participate in includes knobs and pulls. Today I wanted to show you a designers' take on this niche.

Edgar Berebi designed a gorgeous collection- some of them shown here. Many of them include Swarovski crystals, gold plating and semi-precious stones.

I wonder why more glass artists don't enter this arena? Our work seems to fit so well with this niche. Zooziis even has a press and kit for people who feel more comfortable with knobs that are exactly the same size.

For the glass artists who don't have a special press, I believe that most folks form their knobs free hand and often with a bit of help from a marble mold for shaping.

The time I tried it, I made a sculptural knob and had a great time. It looked a bit like a Dr. Seuss character and was immediately claimed by one of my friends, so I never got a photo of it.

I'm interested in hearing whether any of you have ever made a knob and what was your experience with it?

And if you haven't made one yet, will you try one?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reef Collaboration for Shannon Hill

As many of you know, fellow glass artist and all around nice guy, Shannon Hill is very sick with cancer.

I just saw a thread on Lampwork Etc. that an artist collaboration is being organized to benefit his kids in some way.

A team of glass artists are building a reef scene for him and would love you to send in a turtle, seashell, fish, coral or anything related. Items must be in hand by May 10th.

Organizers, (Brent Graber, Mr. Smiley is one of them) want to make it as inclusive as possible and honor him and benefit his kids at the same time.

Any COE is fine.

Send it to:

Shannon Hill
Reef Collab.
716 NW 6th Dr.
Boca Raton, FL 33486

So far, some of the artists who have donated include Robert Mickelsen, Ben Burton, Rashan JOnes, Wil Menzie, Wesley Fleming, Lucid Visions and many others.

I had been thinking about either sending in this mermaid or the starfish, but since have changed my mind. I'm going to make something special for this.

One of the reasons why I love this glass world, is the way folks come together for each other. We are a community of supportive and kind people who love glass. All of our work together will make an outstanding collaborative piece that will honor Shannon and help his kids. Would you please join me on this?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Big Hair Mane Event

I was amused by these photos which are making their way around the internet. A photographer from Australia and a friend got together and styled the manes on a few horses, and then shot Glamor Photos of each one.

And what does this have to do with glass, you ask? Well, not much, I honestly reply. But it has a lot to do with creativity and thinking outside of the box.

You see, this 36 year old, Julian Wolkenstein took a well known quantity and brought it to a new light. He has been interviewed by the big tv shows, and media around the world and has quite a buzz going. Not bad- especially in this economy.

Seeing these photos of horses with extensions, curls and other stylings caught my attention not as a horse lover, but as someone who loves to see someone take something and make it their own.

And that does relate to glass. How often do we see a specific style of bead- dots, flowers, frit, etc., and not know who made it, because it resembles a lot of others.? Finding your voice or finding your niche is hard.

But if you think about it, this photographer just changed one thing in horse portraiture to make it his own. What one thing can you change in your beadmaking to make that style "your own"?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Flower Blossom Rings in Today's Etsy Showcase

My glass rings are being featured in the Etsy Jewelry Ring Showcase today.

They will be in the top bar of moving photos, (here).  

Right now, I have my adjustable Flower Blossom rings mixed into my StudioMarcy shop's jewelry department.  I'm wondering whether it would be smarter to change that category to a different title.

Something to ponder.  

I really like these rings and have priced them so they're very affordable. They come in such a nice red ring box too, which is shown in my etsy listings.

What have you done recently to change up your online marketing?  Have you added a new style, or advertised somewhere different to see if you can increase your visibility?  Let us know.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Yummy Crepes-

I don't often include non glass or creativity posts, but I had some requests, when I mentioned on Facebook that I was making crepes.

I'm passing the recipe on to you. These are slightly "egg-ier" than traditional crepes, (so they don't tear as easily).

Marcy's Yummy Crepes
3 eggs
1 3/4 C. milk
1 C flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil

In a blender, mix all ingredients together until smooth. Cook in a lightly buttered pan. Don't forget, they should be thin and delicate.

Add your favorite fillings or maple syrup. Yum.

ps If keeping them warm in the over prior to serving, I put a little wax paper between them to keep them separate.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Craftopolis- Check Etsy Treasuries & Gift Guides Quickly

Wondering whether you're in an Etsy Treasury or Gift Guide?  Want a fast and easy way to find out?

Go to
You just enter your Etsy user name and click.  Very easy.  It can check whether you're in both Treasuries, and the Gift Guides too.

If you're into snooping, you can check out all of your friends and your "not so friends" too.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Free Twitter Buttons for Your Blog or Website

Are you tweeting on Twitter? Are you blogging or have a website too?

If you would like some FREE and very cute buttons to link your Twitter name to your sites, I've got a source for you.

Go to: and check them out. You just need to type in your Twitter name and click "go". Pretty easy. Copy the code into the correct location on your page and you're good to go.

Check out mine on the righthand side of this blog and don't forget to follow me, StudioMarcy. (don't worry, I don't tweet a lot.)

Now all you have to do is choose which one of the many choices fits you and your page's look the best.

See you tomorrow- and don't forget to tweet to me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Trying Silver Glass

Do you ever make a bead and then it reminds you of a place?

I had been playing with some silver glass from a local glass maker, and I started seeing all these striations in different colors on my bead posted below.  Immediately, it reminded me of the bands of rocks in Colorado, where I used to live.

Oh, I know the colors aren't the same at all.  It was the layered look that got me thinking.

This silver glass doesn't have a name, and I tried to find my friend's Etsy shop where he sells it.  No luck.  I'll find him and then post the information.

He told our Southern Flames group that his best luck for getting color out of it,  is heating and then cooling and repeating for the striking. He also likes an oxidized flame.

Not being a silver glass connoisseur, I'd love to hear from you silver glass users whether that's what you do too?

I had used this same glass and got some purples and pinks out of it.  But I was using a different torch.  Does the torch with oxy versus a concentrator make a difference?  Okay readers.  I know you're out there.  Let me know what you think.  It's your turn to teach me.

Meanwhile, I have found that I like this glass for my frog's lily pad.  Which you can see here.

I have just returned from my week's long trip, so tomorrow I'll be back to my regular postings.  

Fantastic Online Resource for Digital Technology

Perhaps you are naturally talented at the computer.  If so, you may want to skip this post.  But if you are like me, there are times I want to pull my hair out.  I know there has to be a solution to my problem, but I just don't know  how to do it.  As a glass artist, I need this information for improving my online sales.

Meet   This is a website where you can learn the latest tools and techniques in digital media, design and development., which is a paid subscriber service, has tons of online tutorials, (which are well written, because even I could understand them), podcasts, an online store and all kinds of training.  And they stay really current with the new technology.

Here's the best part- you can get a free trial for checking out what they have to offer.  As the homepage says," 35,400 video tutorials with 544 online courses on a huge variety of software and design topics.  4,524 free movies to try before you buy."  

Hope this resource helps you the way it's helped me.  If only they could tell us how to have more hours in the day- but at least having this available to help 24/7 saves me some time too.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Paperweights and Chris Buzzini

I can't remember how I luckily chanced upon Chris Buzzini's paperweights.  But I am on the email list to see the new ones as they are offered. 

Here is his latest one called "Tahoka Daisy and Berries". I think it's magnificent.

If you'd like to see more of his work, click here.  It's a link to his sold gallery and there are other lovelies shown.  His realism and attention to detail, should not be missed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cherry Tree- I Miss You.

Here are a few photos of my cherry tree in Atlanta.

I've been in sub zero temperatures and snow a foot deep.

.....'Nuff said.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Use That Forgotten Frit

Are you like me and have a bunch of single color frits hanging around?  And not sure what exactly to do with them?

Well, in my quest to clean out my space a bit more, I'm using that extra frit- but instead as stringer.

If you haven't made stringer from frit before, it's pretty easy.

I start with a clear rod, or a transparent that is similar in color to my frit.  I just heat up the very end.

Because I store my frit in glass jars, I take the shortcut and dunk my warm end (the glass of course) into the jar and get a few chunks, then I repeat.  I melt those most of the way down, and while I'm doing it, I make sure that I don't melt it back onto the original rod.

I continue until I get a good sized gather, heat it up and pull it out into a stringer.  Be aware that it might come out a bit uneven. That's okay.  It also might feel a little stiffer than your 104 glass.  It's probably a different coe, so be careful how you use it.

I use this stringer for surface decoration - my lavender seashell with magenta frit is just one example.  This extends your color palate and can make your beads stand out.  Hope you try it.  It's worth the extra effort and you slowly find uses for that unused frit.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Need Your Comments on My Assemblage, Please.

Hi everyone,
I'm writing from chilly Wyoming as I visit my relatives. Talk about windy here!

The Glass Olympics with the theme of Spring is going on right now and I need your comments for my glass assemblage. It helps in the judging.
Just click here to leave a quick one, please.

Meanwhile, I'll be back to make more posts. They may be a little erratic, because my schedule is packed. Got to visit EVERYONE you know! And if you didn't know, I'm still uploading new beads daily in my StudioMarcy Etsy shop. And while I'm away, all shipping is FREE. Until I return on the 10th.

Catch you soon- hopefully tomorrow!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Greetings from Wonderful Wyoming

Sing along with me, "home, home on the range.  where the deer and the antelope play".  Well I've seen lots of antelope and not a single deer.  But I did see a herd of bison.  Yep, you read it right.

If you haven't heard, I'm out in the Rockies, visiting my family in Wyoming.  

Here's my newest little great niece who I have been enjoying immensely- she's a sweetie and just took her first multiple steps today and I was here to see it.  How exciting.

Her mom, my niece, and I have been chatting about glass.  She does really fun fusing work and it's so nice for each of us to have someone who understands us.

I will be posting almost daily, but if I miss one, please forgive me.  My days are packed with catching up, discussing beads, the economy and especially hearing about family members who aren't present.  Bet it's the same in most families.

I'll be back tomorrow for sure.  And I'll get some glass and inspiration blogs in too.  Have a nice weekend and see you soon.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Etsy Selling Tips for Beadmakers

I'm happy to share my Etsy selling tips. And I get asked often, so I thought I'd write down some basics that I recently shared with one of my friends who was asking about them.

I think Etsy is a lower priced venue, for sales. That's why I keep my beads so simple on it. A few higher priced ones sell, but the smaller ones do so much better. It's chock full of jewelry makers who list on there.

A lot of Etsy success stories include listing new items daily. It brings your pieces to the forefront of the lists and be careful to tag them correctly. I list daily and do custom work. Both work well for me. Your photography is as important as the art you do. If it's not good, no one will notice your work.

Remember that the Etsy audience is broad and goes towards the younger than the older side. Find your niche and stick with it. You'll be more successful. I personally think that beadmakers who offer too many styles have a hard time showing their identity to repeat shoppers.

Also there are a ton of very talented beadmakers on Etsy- you have to work hard to stand out. I blog (as seen right here) go on the forums, have joined some Etsy Street Teams and keep my name out there if possible. It's a lot of work for me, but it's my only selling venue.

If you are just consider selling on Etsy, be aware that whatever name you use when signing up, will be your Etsy url address. So be careful. I've seen some shop owners name their shop one thing and have a different address. I know a lot of buyers convert to sellers, and that's the reason, but being aware upfront can help.

I've also seen some wonderful collaborations result from connections on Etsy. Be open to the possibilities. All these creative folks can work well together to create more new items.

If you have Etsy selling tips, please add them in here. I'd love for us to share with others. I enjoy Etsy. It's been good to me and I'm thankful for having them.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Have You Seen This Glass Artist?

This is one of Karli Hall's glass sculptures. from her Gathering Series.

Karli likes to base many of her blown sculptural forms on elements of nature.  When viewing her work, you'll see pieces that evoke pods and seeds as well as underwater creatures.

Stop by Karli's site and read more about her.  And thanks to Lana Chu for posting on facebook about her.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Kidding- Seriously Add Yourself to Your Listings

Happy April Fool's Day. I know, not everyone celebrates it. So that's my public service for today. I'm reminding you to be on your toes.

And I thought I'd mention another selling tip.... adding a little of your personality to your listings.

I can only tell you what works for me, and what I like. But I love knowing a little bit about the person selling the item, especially if the item seems to have a little of the person in it.

Sounds more complicated than it is. Someone selling a tile pendant with a small square of wrapping paper decoupaged onto it is different than that same tile pendant with a small square of someone's original photography. The latter tells me a little of who that person/artist is. (and I do enjoy both items, but I'm trying to illustrate what I'm saying).

You can do this by mentioning that a certain component is a favorite color or shape, or your inspiration for that piece. It doesn't need to be private matters, or too much.

Perhaps you choose to include a photo of yourself at work in your studio, so they can imagine you making their piece that they want to buy.

And sometimes you're just a goofball and have "photobooth" on your Apple computer that takes pictures of you at your desk, but can add a funny background, or you just happen to have the fake mustache and eyeglasses set. (Aw come on, don't you keep one around? I can't be the only one.)

So maybe you nix the silly photos, because you create more serious art. But do consider including small "pieces" of you, so your customers feel like they know you. I have made wonderful connections and even some of my customers have turned into good friends. No fooling.