….over 3 months have gone by and things have been fixed, changed, moved, sifted, cleaned and enjoyed. Alignment seems to be holding for now. Just in time it seems as I have just recently seen a pumpkin.
When ever I manage to actually attach my head and align with the universe I always seem to want to test some idea. This is a continuation of many previous experiments with the copper foil sunk into the enamel. Using the kiln – instead of the torch – I was trying to eliminate one of the fussy steps I had used previously which was sinking the shape into enamel that had already been fused. This is a very heavy gauge copper base but the image is cut from the thinnest of copper foil. The enamel was sifted on the base ( one coat) and my cut out of the woman was laid on top of the enamel powder. It was in the kiln at 1500 degrees for about 3 min. I wanted the copper to turn a stable black and sink into the enamel which it did. One tiny piece did pop off. This stage is shown in the left photo. I then put on a layer of soft fusing flux to ‘seal’ it. Depending on its ultimate use I might not do this second step. The photo on the right shows this step. It was in the kiln 3 minutes and the kiln was a bit hotter and it is over cooked – pits and bubbles but to me – added patina. This photo is not great due to the reflection from the glass. The figure does have a bit more definition than shows here. For me I would now have to etch off the shine and this, I think, would clarify the image even more. So I am thinking this will work for me as I wanted to cut out various images and just lay them on the powdered enamel – cook them up and have some nice black silhouette images. This piece is very small – about 1 1/2 inches tall.
As I like to combine my techniques to get something ‘new’ I might try sinking the wire here too with the silhouette images.
Enamel remains endlessly fun to me!
Patti Wells – Her faultless style and highly developed aesthetic sensibility is effortlessly expressed in each and every piece she creates. It has been my honor and pleasure to have been on the artist’s path with Patti for many years. She inspires me everyday. Thank-you Patti for all that you have so freely shared.
Awhile back the kitchen was damaged by two big leaks. Time for repairs and a few changes. I was told once that chaos is the alchemy of truth and beauty. So that will be the focus of the next couple of weeks.
Stones can pull you through the most mysterious and consuming portal of all. In the top photo are my selections and the huge 4.5 inch ancient nigerian agate beads made me buy them because I was unable to release them from my grip. Even now I don’t want them out of my sight. And the draw to the jasper is forever along with the chinese writing stone and the blue larimar.
The photo below contains my daughter Laura’s choices. There are many here that I beg her never to use or release.
Again mother nature turns on the energy and power. It seems every stone is brimming with creativity, possibility, adventure and wonder. The day, the week, the month, and the year just got a million times more fun.
Here is a follow up thought to my last post on social media – There really is a ton of stuff out there on the internet and in books etc about how to do all of it ( and everything else) and when one starts through it all to try to get something going it can be entirely overwhelming. This is the path I try to follow if it is of help to another. EVERYTHING ‘out there’ is energy. We really are what we think and do create our life with these thoughts. I have my own personal path and flow. It is created from a center that I hold and is heart guided. When one creates anything you are hooked up to the life force of the universe and all of these rules and ideas don’t exist anywhere. Now it seems the challenge will be to bring this truth of yourself across in this new electronic way. Keeping my focus centered as I move along these paths always helps me choose what will be next. All the wisdom guides say to follow your energy. What makes you really excited? What are you attracted to the most? Even if it is not on someone ‘s ‘list ‘of the best and right things to do for yourself do it anyway if your heart leads you there. The heart energy can never be wrong. There will always be millions of so called ‘serious’ ways to proceed and serious considerations riding on your back and often put in your ear by those around you. The culture does not support following intuition, heart or energy as a guide for business, but when a person flows with this kind of focused energy they can create an amazing path for themselves.
If I could not use what I call ‘hearflow’ to make my choices I would not have any idea of how to pick out from all the things in the world that are supposed to be’ right’ and ‘work out’ well.
You are captain of the ship. Happy sailing!
images by jane cather
For the purpose of online selling I opened, set up and tried most all of the social media avenues. One goal was to use all of the free platforms that I could eliminating the need for expensive tools like photoshop. My daughter has become a total whiz at her online marketing and gave me much guidance and advice. Here are some of the things I have tried.
Website Weebly – They offer a free level of website which I think would be plenty big enough for me. The templates offer enough flexibility to give it your own look. I admit to being a serious template snob in the past. But they have come a great distance. Creating this site was easy and easy to change. If you know how to write even a little code you can put in even more custom features. The easy to change part is important as constant change is certainly part of the success in social media.
Wix is another site that offers a free website. I set up one here too to see what it was like and I still liked Weebly better for ease of allowing more options to create your own style.
You can easily sell your work from either of these sites and link the site to anything you already have.
Tumblr This for me is where you can create a wonderful portfolio of your work with large photos that clearly show all the small details. But tumblrs on any subject or area that might support your work are great. I would love to have several on many topics!
Twitter Since they now allow photos I really like how it looks and works. As my life is always layered in one fantasy or another I loved the idea of the last thing at night one would do is send out this little thought about how it all was going or what one had experienced that day – somewhat like a tiny diary entry.
Pinterest My favorite of all. This I do use constantly for inspiration, information and just the best of times as I love images. Initially I did so because my daughter said that almost all of the traffic to her etsy shop came from Pinterest and I saw that most all of the traffic that came to my blog came from Pinterest. I thought I would just make a few boards and quickly pin a bunch of stuff and be done……….well, no. I was totally incapable of pinning anything that I did not truly love and I obsessively would search for that ‘love’. But I so enjoyed the search! Pinterest fills me with the excitement of the incredible amount of beauty that is in the world and this energizes me everyday. It is very easy to set up and use and enjoy. They have a free business level and word is that you may soon be able to sell from Pinterest. Pinterest works at its best if you pin every day. I have sped this up by finding people to follow that have similar interests and so they are all together in the general feed to choose from each day. Then as I go about the internet in my regular travels I can pin a bit more from there.
Picmonkey This is a photo editing site. I have been using their free level on all the photos I put on my blog and my website. Very easy to use and I am satisfied with the results. I really enjoy the collage feature.
Mailchimp This has a free level for sending out your news letter. I have not used this yet, but my daughter always does and really likes it.
Facebook Well……when I don’t like how something looks graphically I find it hard to work with. This I can’t say I like at all. There seems to be no way I can work out to give it one’s own style. You can now sell from facebook and have your own business page. Facebook is a huge piece of the social network that can drive traffic to what you are selling, but I am not sure I could put a lot of energy there? I guess my template allergy is showing now. It is impossible for me to get excited about going there and because of that I had a hard time learning it. I can not seem to force myself to fill in blanks in someone else’s form………if their form feels really alien to me. Hopefully there will be a bit more freedom offered there sometime.
Instagram I do not have a smart phone so I don’t do this. But from my daughter I know that it now drives most of the traffic to her and you can send your photos at one time across most all of the platforms. So I would use it as I love taking photos and sending them out. Again it is free ( but the smart phone has costs) and Instagram looks simple to use. To have the smart phone seems very important in making it easier and extremely time saving to ‘send out in the now’ while it is happening to all your platforms quickly and often. This feature of interacting in the now with those that follow you is heavily stressed in all the current marketing articles. Leaving any platform there to just ‘represent you’ with info apparently is not really effective when trying to market digitally or as I think of it ‘ in the air’.
Blog This WordPress blog I use is the free version. I find it very easy to use and post with. The professional version offers many other features. Many people that have the professional level sell from their blog using big cartel or something similar and don’t have a website.
I can do a post on my blog and send it out to post on twitter and facebook which saves time putting out info on more than one avenue as each may have different viewers.
One of the best traffic drivers is putting out good free tutorials. They end up all over different platforms and then people find their way to you. Another is lots of great photos of what you are selling. These are important as there are so many people looking all the time for images to put up somewhere. And then when all of your platforms are linked together and you are ‘found’ you will be presenting your self in may ways on many levels.
At this time I am not actively using most of the above except for this blog and Pinterest. I just wanted to see what they were all like and how I might work with them. Right now the focus will be in the studio and gardening. After this long winter time spent with the earth will be so very welcome!
The Internet appears to be totally empowering in every way. When I was setting up each of these different things I always got stuck at some point and always found the answer on how to solve my problem somewhere on the internet. I am continually amazed and grateful to all of the millions and more people out there who take the time to make available to all so much great information and for free.