Calendar: February 2013

31 01 2013

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My makers mark

29 01 2013

After writing yesterday’s post calling for contributions to my makers mark page (which I wrote over a week or more ago), I got my act together and finally decided on a design for my makers mark (I’m considering it my birthday present to myself).

In the past I’ve been all precious about the design, so much so that I couldn’t decide. The last few weeks I’ve realised that it’s just a mark, and not actually my identity (so to speak), and that something I really like (as opposed to something that is the personification of me) is perfectly fabulous.

Criteria: in a circle or oval, art-deco inspired font, just my initials.

The (not-selected) final contenders:
MakersMark_01_snail_ADJ  MakersMark_02_p22artdeco_ADJ

I really love the first one (and may still use it in the future for some purpose), but felt that it was too difficult to decipher when at the scale of a makers mark; and the second one looked a little too much like an ‘h’ when scaled down.

The final design – simple and striking and easy to read:

Karen Thompson, makers mark

Karen Thompson, makers mark

So I called Ivan, THE man for making makers marks / hallmarks. He’s so lovely. And his workshop is AMAZING! He has the biggest fly-press I’ve ever seen … it is so beautiful.

Ivan's workshop

Ivan’s workshop

I am beyond excited that I now have a makers mark.

Makers marks

28 01 2013

Okay fellow Australian makers…. it’s time.
Time to include your makers mark (hallmarks) in my fledgling listing.

Do you have a makers mark?
If so, please do send the design to my email address so I can add it to my page.
If so, have you included it on your website / blog, so searchers know your mark?

I’ve noticed that galleries haven’t yet taken up the idea of including makers marks on their artist pages. Do you think this is a good idea?

If you don’t have a makers mark, why not?

My reasons include:

  1. I haven’t been able to decide on the design
  2. it’s not critical nor required for making in Australia
  3. I think it’ll be an expensive exercise (or maybe I’m just using that as an excuse)
  4. I’m not famous enough for a makers mark yet, no-one’s caring if I make stuff or not!

What are your reasons?

Actually, now I think of it, I best do one this year as the makers-mark maker is (how to be delicate…) not a young man, and I would like it to be made by the famous Ivan.

Special mention: Zaftig

26 01 2013

Have you been feeling a bit sad about the lack of jewellery in street and collage art? Or the dearth of references to historically sassy ladies?

Even if you haven’t been sad, this should make you smile …

Anne of Cleeves rocking it new-style.

reproduced here with permission of the artist

reproduced here with permission of the artist

Suzanne of Bourbon dreaming of flying.

reproduced here with permission of the artist

reproduced here with permission of the artist

New visual-art crush.
All images copyright Zaftig … see more of her work here.

The nine muses

25 01 2013

When I’m struggling with stifled creativity, I often refer to the ‘muse’ not visiting me. I use the term so often I thought it was time I learnt more about its classical origin.

In Greek mythology there are nine muses, “goddesses of the inspiration of literature, science and the arts“.

According to my favourite knowledge bank: “The Muses, the personification of knowledge and the arts, especially literature, dance and music, are the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (memory personified). … It was not until Roman times that the following functions were assigned to them, and even then there was some variation in both their names and their attributes.

They are below (though sometimes are different in various versions):

  • Clio – history – shown with scrolls
  • Thalia – comedy and pastoral poetry – shown with a comic mask
  • Erato – love poetry – shown with a cithara (like a lyre)
  • Euterpe – flutes and lyric poetry – shown with a aulos (like a flute)
  • Polyhymnia – hymns / sacred poetry – shown with a veil
  • Calliope – the most valued of all muses – epic poetry – shown with a writing tablet
  • Terpsichore – dance or games – shown with a lyre
  • Urania – astronomy / astrology – shown with globe and compass
  • Melpomene – tragedy – shown with a tragic mask
Roman sarcophagus (2nd century AD, from the Louvre); click on image for original source

Roman sarcophagus (2nd century AD, from the Louvre); click on image for original source

However the Romans believed there were only three muses: “The Roman scholar Varro relates that there are only three Muses: one who is born from the movement of water, another who makes sound by striking the air, and a third who is embodied only in the human voice. They were Melete or Practice, Mneme or Memory and Aoide or Song.

Lots of poetry muses it seems …. do poets need all this inspirational support?
Perhaps poetry was a broad term to include music?
As this site notes: “Dance, poetry, rite, and music seem inseparably associated in the early history of music in ancient Greece

I must say I’m super-excited to see a muse for astronomy.
Though none for painting? Perhaps it was seen simply as a ‘trade’ at the time?

I do enjoy mythology and such stories …

Selling handmade jewellery

23 01 2013

Following my exploration of pricing handmade jewellery, I have been considering the options available to sell handmade jewellery.

I’ve been thinking the options available for selling handmade jewellery are:

  • ‘bricks and mortar’ jewellery gallery
  • craft / artisan market(s)
  • commission / out of studio
  • online

I’ve thought and written a lot about the importance and place of the jewellery gallery (the ‘bricks & mortar’ kind) over the last few years [Place of Gallery, Galleries & Artists]. There’s a lot for an artist to consider when entering into an agreement with a gallery (if given the excellent opportunity that is!); including:

  • exclusive collections for each gallery
  • personal policy for referrals for commission approaches
  • agreements on pricing if also selling through other channels

Quite a few friends sell through craft / artisan markets (eg. Markit @ Fed Square, Craft Hatch, Harvest Workroom Fiesta, Melbourne Design Market, Finders Keepers, and more). My thoughts are that this would require quite an investment in stock production, to ensure enough selection at such an event, and stall presentation … and so it’s not really a viable option for me at the moment.

Selling via private commissions, out of your own studio, would be a great option … though really only one for an artist with an established reputation and practice. So perhaps in time … wishing … maybe ….

More realistically – online selling. I’ve noticed the most popular options are Etsy or one’s own website (often powered by BigCartel platform). If you’ve had experience with either of these, please do share your tips for those of us considering entering the fray.

Would you help me?
If you’re a contemporary jewellery maker, would you tell me which method you use to sell (multiple selection is allowed)?

As always, comments are more than welcome!
Especially if you have tips for managing multiple selling channels.

Update: I was thinking about this with respect to non-exhibition (or post-exhibition) jewellery, as exhibitions are almost always bricks & mortar gallery spaces.

Strangely, the day after I drafted this post (days before I published it of course!), there was an article in The Age on crafting and how to sell jewellery! Amazing how these things just collect in the minds of like-minded people yes? …

Spectacular flowers

22 01 2013

For me.
Chrysanthemums and thistles.

flowers from a most special frien

flowers from a lovely friend

How magnificent they are!