Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Weather is incredibly beautiful here on the Mendocino coast so sometimes it's hard to stay inside. October is often one of the most pleasing months here weather wise. We are happy though that we have been getting some rain and are actually ahead in rainfall totals from last year, that's a good thing. It's been interesting watching brown and dried up looking lawns get green really fast with the gift of water.
We're still enjoying making jewelry and are certainly enjoying doing so many fewer shows, down to 6 out of town shows and for the first time in 37 years we are not doing a show on Thanksgiving weekend. I organized the show that we did for about 30 of those years, here in Mendocino and before that up in Nevada City. I make jewelry about 24 hours a week and Carlie a little less than that. Next year I plan to cut back a little more to 20 hours a week.
We had a wonderfully relaxing trip to the southern Oregon coast a few weeks ago and I'll be putting some pictures of the trip up on my photo blog in the not too distant future. Hope to see you at the Sacramento show, it is truly the highest quality art show that happens in the Sacramento area.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Back when we started doing fairs, we were living in Berkeley at the time, I was wholesaling jewels to shops all over the bay area and sometimes in southern California, I really didn't know what a craft fair was, but one day a friend mentioned that there was a craft fair the coming weekend in Live Oak Park in north Berkeley. I went and checked it out on Saturday and met a ceramic pipe maker who agreed to share his space with me on Sunday. I returned then and, not having a display of any kind, just spread an Indian bedspread out on the ground and put out what jewelry I had. I think I sold $3-$400 dollars of work that afternoon, which doesn't sound like very much now, but, at the time, was a significant sum to me. The next week I started checking out other fairs in the bay area and heard about the Kings Mountain Fair, applied and got accepted. My display the first time I did the Kings Mountain fair was an old piece of plywood I found out in the redwood forest there, set up on rocks, making it about a foot high, and then covered with the same Indian bedspread from Berkeley. Well, the experience I had there changed the direction of my life and here I am, still making a living selling my work at art fairs. I don't remember actually how much money I made then but I do remember basically selling just about every single piece that I displayed (this was before Carlie became a creator of jewelry). I also remember that the most expensive piece I had at the time was less than $50. As our jewelry making and selling career gradually winds down, Kings Mountain will be the last show that we let go of I expect. Not only because of the money making, although that's important, but because of the other aspects of our experience there, seeing artist friends that we only get to see once a year, getting to spend a wonderful weekend up in that beautiful redwood forest and the first rate job that the fair organizers and volunteers do to make the weekend fun, easy and successful.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Part of the enjoyment is the game like play that I make it, always searching for new ideas, tricks, variations, techniques and so forth. I saw early on that if I didn't make it into something that was enjoyable in an ongoing way that I would not be able to do it for a long time. Also continuing to make different forms lets longtime customers find something to acquire that is different from the pieces that they have already purchased. Such a high percentage of our sales at shows are to people that have bought before.
I am certainly enjoying being semi retired, it is very relaxing. Only 4 more fairs for the rest of the year. That's a big change for us.
I still have another picture collage I'm working on of our most recent work just finished in the last few days. I'll get it posted in a few days, some interesting pieces.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Our spring show schedule has a very big change in that we are taking a year off from the Whole Earth Festival this year after having participated for the last 37 years consecutively. We enjoy Whole Earth and usually do well there but it's a very energy intensive event to do, so, after all the work of the move and setting up the new studio we decided to take a vacation from it for this year. We will be back in Davis at the art center holiday fair in December and in Sacramento in November. More details coming on our show schedule page.
We've been walking a lot in Ft. Bragg and have been exploring the alleys of which there are many. I've been taking pictures of things I find interesting and have posted some on my picture blog at www.floweringpixels.blogspot.com Another nice thing about having a larger space in this house is that I have a permanent space set up for taking jewelry pictures so I hope to post more of those in the near future.
Friday, March 7, 2014
a few days ago and we are starting the process of making new mixed metal jewels. I'll be posting pictures of some of them soon. We don't start doing art shows until May this year so have a little time to play and be creative. We'll see what comes from our hands and minds. I'm excited also because I have a very large room upstairs that I'm setting up for a drawing/painting/collage work studio as well as a book sorting/working room for that side of my life. Will post our upcoming show schedule soon.
Monday, December 16, 2013
We are looking forward to day two and the rest of the fair.
Over the many years we have participated in the Bah! Humbug Festival it has been in many different locations in Chico but because of our almost 40 years of satisfied customers in the area we have always done very well. A great number of our jewels are being worn and enjoyed in Chico.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013
Lots of people who appreciate our work came to visit and a goodly number of them took new jewels home to enjoy. The show opened at 10am and by 10:04 we had a small crowd around our booth. A couple of fellow artists told me that there were more people there than in the rest of the show at that time. I can understand wanting to come early to see all of our new stuff because pieces start finding homes pretty fast. That is why at many of our shows the first day is often our best day. We're at our motel now, winding down, hoping to get a good night's sleep so we can be ready to do it again tomorrow.