Monday, 21 May 2012

Killer possums ...

Okay, killer might be a little bit of exaggeration, well its a lot of an exaggeration, but this little feller has been terrorizing us for a while now.  It goes like this - we're in bed, warm and cozy, drifting off to sleep when - BANG, CRASH THUMP goes the possum across the roof.    You would think that something that's roughly cat sized wouldn't make so much noise. But, on a tin roof, it's horrendous. Enough to send the dog into a frenzy and to wake the children (and I mean those down the road not just ours).    We snapped this photo (doesn't he look sweet - well let me tell you he's not, he's a bastard) the other night when he decided to climb up on our window and sit there looking at us for a little while before climbing into the tree to torment the dog some more from his vantage point.  Now, I can't let the dog out at night unsupervised because all she wants to do is hunt possums and, much as I'm over the whole late night roof walking thing, I don't actually want it to be eaten by an over enthusiastic staffy!!

It's been a busy couple of weeks jewelry wise. I had some work in a local Art Show over the Mother's Day weekend. I was fortunate enough to win Best Work in Jewelry and sold a few pieces.  One shouldn't need it (of course we all do) but it's nice to get some validation.  Does anyone else sometimes look at their work and go 'what the...?'  I probably shouldn't say that here really ...

I've got several pieces lined up ready for the shop:

I bought some ceramic Buddha pendants from an etsy seller but didn't like the cases/lockets they came in, way too shiny.  I decided to pop him on an oxidised copper backing and secure with wire.  The only issue is whether the wire looks like I'm trying to imprison him - very un-zen if so.  I do like the way it looks with the necklace of ribbon, beads and leather.
And with this piece I just went with the flow without any real pre-planning or idea of how it would turn out. Much like my life really

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

And that's all I have to say about that ...

I wanted to thank you all for the lovely comments I have been receiving lately.   When I first started Quisnam and this blog, I had no idea that it would be a doorway to such a creative and welcoming community that I am truly glad to be a part of. In my last but one post I talked a little about my father who died ten years ago.  My mum was very moved by the comments you left.

Oh, and the reason for the new layout.  I was mucking around on blogger and stuffed up my old layout so I thought I'd take the opportunity to try a slightly different look.  This is a standard template that I haven't altered at all and it's doing a few weird things (the followers column looks all strange) so I'll probably fiddle with it a bit more.

This Thursday (10th May) I will be putting my shop 'on-vacation' for 24 hours.  I am doing this  in solidarity with a group of hand crafters and artisans who are peacefully protesting the rise of re-sellers on etsy.  

There has been quite a lot of discussion on this gentle protest (much of it rather mean spirited and some of it downright aggressive) so I wanted to take this opportunity to explain why I am participating.

Firstly, I have no problem at all with people selling things that were made by others. To illustrate I purchase lots of supplies from etsy sellers - some are hand-made by the artists that sell them, others are not. For example some of the Czech glass beads that I am fond of using were originally produced in factories by the thousand (if not hundreds and hundreds of thousands).  I do however have a problem with those sellers that are not honest about the provenance of their items and imply, or flat-out claim, that they have made something themselves when actually they bought it on eBay (or wherever), and listed as a OOAK or hand made when quite clearly it isn't.  Etsy is very straightforward in its policy about this but I am fairly sure they are not doing everything they can to police this.

Similarly, I take no issue with the concept of a collective (or group of sellers using one shopfront) - in fact I think the idea of an artistic collaboration or, alternatively, a group of artists using the same shop to show-case their different work is rather wonderful. But, and this is a big but, there is a world of difference between a collective and say a factory!!

I have a little shop that generates an income that just about covers the costs of my supplies. I'm reasonably sure that people who like my stuff probably aren't going to be shopping the re-sellers! So this isn't about money or my sales.  But I am worried that the idea behind etsy (or at least the idea I thought was behind etsy) is slowly getting lost.  To put it another way - The etsy brand is becoming increasingly tarnished and there are no shortage of people happy to point this out - regretsy being just one example.  Of course, it is possible that etsy will choose to revise rather than police its policy on re-selling.    I get that, at the end of day, they are a business and need to have a commercially viable and sustainable business model. I guess what I'm lobbying for more than anything else is honesty. 

On the creative side of things I've been working on a couple of pieces which I will aim to list at the weekend.   This piece uses a vintage salt cellar (one of many that I have in my 'found objects' collection). It is similar in concept to something I made earlier this year.  I love the simple but powerful shape.

My husband (who is a sculptor) made me some lovely shapes from some ebonised wood that he has had for a while.  You can't see it in the photo but the wooden circle is thicker at the bottom than the top. I think it has quite a contemporary look but with a tribal feel to it. 

'til next time