Archive for the ‘The Business of Craft’ Category

Here’s another chance to hear it.

From the Traditional Arts Indiana website

Webinar recording access: Social Networking for Artists and Performers

Social Networking for Artists and PerformersThe latest Traditional Arts Indiana webinar, “Social Networking for Artists and Performers: Developing and Maintaining an Online Presence”, is available as a video recording at: http://connect.iu.edu/p6upmf4ohax/.

When you click the link, you will be taken to a new window that shows everything exactly as it happened. You can watch this video at any time to see how social media can help professionalize your folk practice, whether it’s weaving, pottery, or – as it is with our friend and host, Geoff Davis – woodcarving.

WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy: these are just a few of the topics Geoff covered in his roughly 50-minute talk. There’s plenty to learn and explore in this presentation, so be sure to take advantage.

Read the rest here…

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This post is for fellow artists — not customers.  (Customers please read.  It will make you an informed consumer.)

I’ve grown to love Luann Udell from her regular column in Crafts Report magazine and an interview on the podcast CraftcastShe’s wise and funny and very talented.  She wrote the following article for Fine Art Views.

At the Indiana Artisan’s Marketplace last spring a friend and former employer came to visit.  She owned a pair of high end cookware retail shops.  My wife and I split a full time job and worked in the shop evenings.  Sharon is a master retailer and critiqued my booth and sales methods during her visit.  She really gave me a hard time about how I answered this question.  She and Luann seem to agree.  (I knew they right, but didn’t know how else to handle it.  Luann fills the gap for me here.)

I originally introduced Luann to my readers here.

Questions You Don’t Have to Answer: How Long Did That Take You to Make?

by Luann Udell

Today I met some friends for coffee.  All of us are artists, and we’d recently been part of a local art tour.

One of our members made short videos of the artists in their studios.  One video in particular came up, where an artist is asked how long it takes her to make her art.  I commented that she never should have answered that question, especially the way she did.

For me, it was a no-brainer.  But the others questioned me, though they agreed they always get that question.  And they always, always hate it when they asked.

“Easy,” I said.  “Don’t answer it!”

But why not?

Read the remainder of the article and find the answer here.

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I’ve little time to post a response to the Indiana Artisan Marketplace.  My non-arts-post-show to-do list is demanding my attention.  I expect to discuss elements of the this weekend over the next few days.

My immediate response WOW!  As an advocate for traditional arts and fine craft I was blown away by the quality and variety of the artisans, the quality of the show and the wonderful folks who made the effort to come and visit with us.

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As you probably already know I am in the last stages of preparing for the Indiana Artisan Marketplace.  From my perspective this is a high stakes show.  Until now, I’ve set up an elaborate table and been good to go.  This time I built a one hundred square foot gallery space with lights, carpet and fixtures.

I’ve been thinking a lot about sales.  Slick icky things like “opening”, “landing” and “closing”.  My work starts at about $100 and doesn’t sell itself in an environment where folks can buy original stuff for under $10.  My wife, Julie, sells me and my work well.  I don’t sell me well.  I find it hard to initiate a conversation about my attention to detail, my research and my use of found materials.  Once the door is open I can talk for hours about what the patron wants to learn. (I am always an educator first.)

Last weekend in Bloomington, I listened carefully to the coversations that Julie was having with the patrons.  I listened to their questions and their misconceptions. (Many folks have problems believing that the work is original and one-of-a-kind.  Many folks think the birds are plaster, paper-mache or RESIN. I actually like the first two.)

I have space to hang four informative signs in my new gallery booth.  Yesterday I attempted to boil down all of these conversations into four simple signs.  I wanted them to sound like things I would say.  In fact, one is pulled straight from a recent radio interview.  I tried to put a bit of humor into one of them.

I’m a letterpress printer.  I don’t have the time to set these and print them.  Instead I set them on the HP Inkjet using my favorite typeface (NOT A FONT), Cochin, in a very traditional manner.

These are in the rough.  I am open to re-wording, additions and changes.  I want your ideas (always).

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Hamilton County Business Magazine

North Magazine

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Yesterday I finished my booth (To be honest, there is still a short punchlist.) for the Indiana Artisan Marketplace at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on April 16 and 17.  I don’t have much more to say except it’s really awesome!  Thanks to Julie and Joe for their help and insights.  It will remain set-up for the next week at the Judge Stone House, 107 s. 8th St, Noblesville, if you would like to stop by and see it.

Here is the process in photos…

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Hear me (and a lot of smarter folks) talk about our art, the alternative craft movement and Saturday’s Bloomington Handmade Market.

WFIU – Radio Broadcast about Saturday’s Handmade Market

Tuesday, March 29

See images and links for all of the vendors here.

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I thought I was a good photographer.  I have a lot of technical knowledge.  I have the artist’s eye for light.  I know my work and how it should look.  The truth is I am a good photographer, but to show my work off at its best I need a great photographer!

I met Kelley Jordan last summer at the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange.  Twice I’ve handed her bags of birds and walked away.  I wanted (and still want) to see how anther talented artists sees and interprets my work.

I could not have made a better choice.  Kelley has a passion for handcrafted items.  She appreciates them and understands them.  She photographs my work in unbelievably settings — against old buildings, on forest leaves and pine needles — and give them context and scale.

Without Kelley’s work with my birds I would not have had the strong holiday sales on Etsy.  I wouldn’t have had drop dead fantastic jury photos.  She has made a difference in what I do.

If you want a boost in your artwork and sales talk to Kelley.  Her work is fantastic and less expensive than you may think.  I’m already thinking about her next shoot with my work.

See a sample of my birds through Kelley’s eyes and lens here.

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I’ve been spent a great deal of time lately learning to articulate my work with bird carvings.  Show season is coming and this is an area that I want to improve.

Along the same lines I’m preparing for a gallery show in early May.  The gallery has asked for a biography and an artist’s statement.  I’ve spent a few hours over the last few days reading artist statements, reading about artist statements and listening to podcasts about artist statements.

Today I came across an automatic artist statement generator.  Much like the MadLibs of our youth you complete a simple form with the words that come to mind and the generator does the rest.

Here’s the statement that was generated for me (I believe that I’ve now founded the “Shucksism” Movement!):


Geoffrey Davis’s Artist Statement

Through my work I attempt to examine the phenomenon of Charlie Brown as a methaphorical interpretation of both Edward Hopper and Sailing.

What began as a personal journey of shucksism has translated into images of Prime Rib and Leg that resonate with Pennsylvania Dutch people to question their own mossness.

My mixed media Bird embody an idiosyncratic view of Ghandi, yet the familiar imagery allows for a connection between Paul Newman, automobiles and pizzas.

My work is in the private collection of Captain Stueben who said ‘Darn!, that’s some real large art.’

I am a recipient of a grant from Folsom Prison where I served time for stealing mugs and tie clips from the gift shop of The Boothbay Railway Village. I have exhibited in group shows at McDonalds and Bay View Gallery, though not at the same time. I currently spend my time between my woodshed and Berlin.

Try it yourself and share them in the comments below.


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Today Owosso delivered my the plates that I will be using to print my new hangtags.  (Actually UPS delivered them.)  They are beautiful!

They pulled a proof and shipped it with the plates.  The quality of the plates and the resulting prints is evident.  I’ve some school work (day job) to do over the next two evenings and plan to print this weekend.  I will post the process and the results here.






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