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Archive for October, 2010

The INDIEiana Handicraft Exchange Mini at the Irvington Halloween Festival was a huge success.  The weather cooperated and folks (and a few ghosts and goblins) came out ready to purchase holiday gifts.  I had a few opportunities to sing and play ukulele (with Phoebe) and my sales were much better than expected!

As I’ve shared before, Kelley Jordan, is now shooting the photos to promote my work.  All that needs to be said is that she is a fantastic artist and solid professional.  In fact, it was fun to have her around the studio.

If you have a need to have handwork photographed do not hesitate to contact Kelley.  Not only is her work first rate, her rates are surprisingly reasonable and the process — in my case — inspired a new level of work.

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To purchase work visit ETSY.

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My pieces can be pricey.  I use a pricing formula and I know that they are fair.  They are not TOO expensive.

I also know that If I was in a position to buy one of my birds, I would have to budget and save.  For us “regular folks” they are priced too high to be classified as an impulse buy.

I’ve known for a long time that I needed to produce products that were less expensive.  Thay had to be something that is priced fairly, using my pricing formula, that could be considered an impulse purchase by many more folks.

Saturday I’m selling at a Halloween street fair.  It draws a huge crowd, up to 10,000 folks.  Folks don’t come to street fairs to purchase pricey art.  I plan to use this event to test a new line that that taps into the under $25 crowd.

In the decoy carving world there is a decoy called a “flattie”.  Flatties are flat, two-dimensional decoys that are shaped, painted and decorated just like carved three-dimensional birds.  Last year I produced several hundred small flatties for use as package decorations and ornaments.  For these birds I used the same patterns as the birds I carved.  They are great.  I’ve used them as small gifts and give aways.  Due to their small size they dissapear in my show display and are difficult to promote.

Saturday I’m introducing a new line of flatties called “Bird-on-s-stick”.  These birds are made from patterns specifically designed as flatties.  They are larger than my carved birds and are mounted on a wire and a small stand.  One side is decorated with the same care and techniques that use to decorate carved birds.  For less than a quarter of the price folks can take home a little bird.

At this time I’ve designed and produced blue jays, Carolina chickadees, house wrens, Atlantic puffins, mallards, crows and cardinals.

Perhaps next I’ll get to my little bird suckers….

More about Saturday’s show from the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange webstite.

The Saturday, October 30 show will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and will be held in conjunction with the Irvington Halloween Festival outside in the Irvington neighborhood on the east side of Indy. We will have a long white tent on Washington Street between Midwest Scooter and Tiqueables Antiques and will have 30 vendors plus live music. The Halloween Festival also includes local food vendors, costume contests, games, movie screenings and other fun activities.

See you then?

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Last Saturday Kelley Jordan, photographer, was in my studio taking shots of my work for ETSY and for show applications. (More about Kelley later.)  I really enjoy cool autumn air and had the door open.  Kelley came in from shooting outside and announced that I had a bird in the studio.

It took awhile for me to understand.  I have loads of birds in the studio:  carvings, cut-outs, reference photos and field guides litter the room.

She tried again, “There’s a bird in here!”

Perhaps she heard Woody Guthrie on my iPod.

Once more she announced that a bird was in the house.

Sure enough, a small brown bird was flitting around the room.  I’ve handled many birds wild, domestic, alive and mounted and knew just what to do.  You wait until its exhausted and the gentle pick it up and take it outside.  That’s just what I did (but not before it walked on the ceiling!).

When we got outside (Me, the bird, Kelley and her camera) I gentle relaxed my hand.  It didn’t seem to want to leave.  I put a finger to its breast and it stood on my finger and sang! (Kelley shot pictures…I WILL have proof!) I stood for several minutes looking at the bird.

It looked like a wren, but lacked the barred wing patterns and upright tail.  It had a long curved beak and its tail was fanned like a woodpecker’s.  I gentle tried to coax the tail into the upright wren posture, but it wouldn’t go.  It continued to stand calmly watching me watch it.

After a few minutes I walked to the wooded backyard and tried to place it on a sheltered branch.  The bird took the cue and flew into the foliage.

I immediately checked my field guide and discovered a bird between nuthatches (bird that can walk on ceilings) and wrens.  It was the brown creeper.  The creeper is a nuthatch relation that lived near the trunks of trees and is heavily camouflaged.  They are not rare, but very, very difficult to spot.

Every bird has a story.  It looks like I have another.

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I traveled with Ernie to get back to New England.  I traveled with Ernie to revisit my Maine home.  I traveled with Ernie to spend time with a serious and focused artist.  I traveled with Ernie to see and experience places that I’ve never visited.  I did not travel with Ernie to “get my picture took”.

This evening Ernie sent me an email of severial photos of me birding, walking and loving the New England Autumn.

To see more of Ernie’s work and to pick purchase copies click here.

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New England Souvenirs

I didn’t have much time or money to worry about purchasing things to bring home. I did pick up two pounds of Kirschner franks and top split buns.

More importantly I picked up materials for my carved birds. My birds are mounted on found twigs. I’m always searching for unsual and interesting sticks. Along the roadsides of the the Adirondacks and New Hampshire I picked up a nice faggot (How nice to use this word correctly) of mixed silver and white paper birch.

I also gathered a bit of white paper birch bark, a smathering of pine cones, a few wonderful stones and a male eider feather.

Look for these materials in new work.

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Kenny’s Guitar – A Re-Blog

I’m not much into re-blogging…but this is Kenny’s Guitar!

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I spent about an hour and a half drawing and photographing a superb great horned owl mount at a local nature center today.  It was a nice way to get back to work after a week in the field.

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