Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Just some thoughts when every plant is either budding or blooming

It is April 29th at five or six in the morning, the sun rising early this time of year, and it's soon a holiday in Sweden. The pale green hue of all of the tiny new leaves are out, after a year of waiting for them.
Jag pause to think about everything that has happened in the past year and want to happen in the coming. Spring gives us strength and courage to dare to think about what's up ahead. But actually it is NOW, the present moment, that begs for attention. Snowdrops and crocus are relieved from duty by tulips and daffodils. The minature magnolia's fragrant, white blossoms opened the day before yesterday. The entire garden is decked with flowers, bejewelled with spring blossoms. Bejewelled. But it is not flowering plants but jewellery made of beads and metal, that I have chosen to work with, dispite my short experience. I am a newcomer to this craft and this venture, but not a novice when it comes to the arts, design and other crafts. I have just changed direction, taken a new route, to use a geographical term.

The day before yesterday I gather togther all of my little plastic boxes filled with beads, pearls, stones and silver findings and started a kind of spring-cleaning. I need to find a new and more undisturbed workplace. Up to now I have occupied half of the livingroom. But now it seems that other family members need that space for their activities, so I am looking for a new place at home for my "studio" making adornments. Maybe somewhere uppstairs?

It is a just a little over a year since I started making jewellery and only six months since I opened by online shop at Etsy. Actually I was going to open my very own web shop, but I didn't feel ready then. Now or soon maybe I will do that. I have had Etsy as my school. I have learned so much from looking at other sellers' shops and reading how other artisans have started out, gone to schools, taken special courses etc. At Etsy there is an unlimited number of "classmates" and the range of quality of work is a broard spectrum from supreme junk to utter excellence.

I learn something every single day about how different craftspeople live and work, and about their creative process. If I see something I like I do try to learn from it and ask myself why I like it. I am always trying to learn new techniques, methods or how to work with different materials. I often discover how hard it is do something well the first time you try.

Another thing I have learned and am still learning, is the educational aspect of presentation and selling. It is not surprising that there are jewellery-makers that work with professional photographers. Photography is so important, and also harder that you think. More questions are: How can I make my shop better and more appealing? What about pricing? After all of these technical and esthetic questions there is the financial one.

It's too beautiful a day to think about money!




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