Thursday, October 29, 2009
If you've followed my blog, you know how obsessed I am with getting the photography right in my Etsy store. Each season holds a new challenge, and now I'm facing how to do Chranukka (Christmas and Hanukkah) without losing my pagan buyers, and also eager to include any Muslims, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, or atheists. Because basically, we all want the same thing at our winter holiday, which is to charge less on our credit card than the amount that would cause us to go to jail!
So I pulled out these snowflake tealight holders as a backdrop for my ornaments, like the one above. My photo lab now consists of a Veritone taped to the outside of my back door, with me laying on the concrete patio to shoot. I did the snowflakes pretty well, and then started my Woodland Birds, with a paper and wire hanger. To cut to the chase, the paper caught on fire. I blew the candle out, which sprayed hot wax on my Veritone backdrop. I tried to scrape this off with a knife, cut my finger, and then bled on top of the wax. There was a bit of swearing involved at this point.
I can now give you a great tip. To remove wax and blood from a Veritone, use nail polish remover. That is my photo tip for today. So if you are in awe of my nifty candlelit shots, you now know exactly what kind of knowledgeable and capable photographer I am!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Today we drove up on the Blue Ridge parkway where the leaves are peaking. There was a reverent hush as people of all nationalities with many blending accents and languages gazed with drunken rapture at oranges so deep that you might warm your hands just to touch them, and reds so surreal that perhaps fairies and trolls partied last night and splattered magic paint around. I saw young city girls clutching bouquets of giant leaves, gathered like precious jewels. A tall man with his toddler son shuffled through piles, and the man's face was lost in his own boyhood, while the young one had eyes like an old man who understood everything. It was beyond amazing.
And I see how this beauty, fierce and urgent, informs my life. When I shut my eyes now, the colors are still there. And when I hold my husband tonight, just before sleep, we will float through crisp air, soaring, gold and red and orange, and filled with light.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
My Guardian Lantern is in this week's Etsy Voter- please check it out and consider voting for me! It is my first time in the Voter, so thank you to whoever nominated me. I have one like this piece in the front window of my studio. It greets me as I come and go, it shows off to my visitors the exact colors of Autumn, the glorious residue of stored up memories, the impossible reds, the sun soaked dust of gold.
The colors of autumn are the most fleeting in nature and maybe its a bit of irony to use them on my pottery, which is so unchanging and solid. Or maybe this is what all artists do. We capture moments that might otherwise be lost.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I have been wondering about Divine Guidance lately. Are we born into this world to meet up with certain people, to develop specific inner gifts, to leave behind a pre-ordained list of accomplishments? I do not know.
What I do know is that the success that I've had in the past year could not have come about except as a reaction to what seemed like a tragedy at the time, and that I prayed, meditated, visualized, and asked for Divine Guidance continuously in the first month after my husband lost his job last year. It's almost funny to me looking back, because I was, at the time, a news junkie, so my daily routine consisted of reading blogs and watching cable news reporting on the international economic collapse and impending Depression. I needed prayer to deal with the fear!
I was also living inside many faulty beliefs, such as that no one would buy pottery online and pay all that extra shipping, that selling to high class galleries was the pinnacle of accomplishment and so selling my own work would be backsliding, and that I couldn't stand out amongst the millions of internet shops and sites anyway.
So I only tried Etsy out of sheer desparation, and because it was healthier to immerse myself in a world of artists and vintage sellers as opposed to the paralyzing unemployment statistics, reports of new layoffs, home foreclosures, and corporations going bankrupt. As a bonus, I had my husband at home full time, a former operations manager, now executive VP of Operations. He set up the sales tracking, packing, and shipping systems for my Etsy store, and once all that was running smoothly, he found another job.
I also found a freedom on Etsy to sell more indie, one of a kind experimental pieces, which I've always preferred making. These are harder to market through galleries because of the gallery mark up, but I can sell these easily and affordably on Etsy. I am much happier working now, more excited to go into my studio, and I've close to doubled my income!
The luminary above, titled SUCCESS, has a bee and a dandelion, which are symbols of happiness at work, and spreading fertile seeds, or growing one's resources and wealth. I surrounded myself with these images as my Etsy store blossomed.
Did these images help guide my life? Did The One Who Sustains Us darken my world, and then illuminate the path that lead to my highest and best good? I do not know exactly.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Etsy Finds: October Shopping Guide came out in the Storque (Etsy's blog) today, with my Night Chi dinnerware set in the lead photo. I can't quit staring at it with a tinge of shock and pleasure. I'm not a yay! Look at me! Yahoo type of person and I'm not going on a twitterfest over this, but you know what? There is a warm fire in the cave where my creativity lives, and every acknowledgement and recognition throws a small stick of wood on it. Abe Lincoln said:
Don't worry when you are not recognized but strive to be worthy of recognition.
My Night Chi dinnerware depicts the feeling of nighttime energy, with its starry black sky and golden mountainscape in autumn colors. We eat dinner late at my house, at 7 or even 8 some nights, and it's dark in the fall and winter, so we eat by candlelight. The moon wanders outside my windows spreading its magical radiance. Occasionally a raccoon peers inside, the owls chant, and is still enough to hear rustles of wind.
I go out almost every night for a few moments and soak up some Night Chi.